Latest Libya news

  • Libya tells Arab summit arms embargo must be lifted to fight IS 13 hours ago

    By Yara Bayoumy and Mahmoud Mourad SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Libya told an Arab summit on Saturday that a U.N. arms embargo on the country must be lifted to help prevent the advance of Islamic State militants. "I say to those who oppose or delay the arming of the Libyan army that you are giving an opportunity to Daesh terrorists to flourish in Libya and to spread beyond it," said Aqila Saleh, president of Libya's internationally-recognised parliament, using a derogatory Arabic term for Islamic State. More »

  • Did Hillary Clinton destroy evidence in 'wiping clean' her email se … Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    Friday was the deadline for Mrs. Clinton to respond to a congressional subpoena for emails and documents related to Libya, including the 2012 attack on a US diplomatic compound in Benghazi that killed the US ambassador and three other American personnel. The subpoena was from the House Select Committee on Benghazi, chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R) of South Carolina. “After seeking and receiving a two week extension from the Committee, Secretary Clinton failed to provide a single new document to the subpoena issued by the Committee and refused to provide her private server to the Inspector General for the State Department or any other independent arbiter for analysis. “We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server.  While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department. More »

  • UN Security Council keeps Libya arms embargo in place
    UN Security Council keeps Libya arms embargo in place Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    Unanimously adopted resolution keeps four-year arms embargo in place but opens door to exemptions on case-by-case basis. More »

  • Libya's Tripoli parliament says troops pull back from major oil ports:  … Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    TRIPOLI (Reuters) - A rival Libyan parliament based in the capital Tripoli has ordered the withdrawal of troops loyal to it from frontlines near Libya's biggest oil ports, a senior lawmaker said on Saturday. The move raised hopes of a reopening of the ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, which closed in December when fighting broke out between forces loyal respectively to Libya's competing governments and parliaments. (Reporting by Ahmed Elumami; writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Kevin Liffey) More »

  • Libya forces said to leave bases near oil ports; hopes they may reopen Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    Forces loyal to a rival Libyan government controlling the capital Tripoli have withdrawn from frontline bases near the country's biggest oil ports, a spokesman said on Friday, raising hopes the ports might soon be reopened. A Tripoli official said the internationally recognized government and the rival administration, which have fought since December over the two biggest oil ports in eastern Libya, had reached an agreement to withdraw. Libya is divided with factions allied to two governments -- the internationally recognized one in the east and the rival administration in Tripoli - vying for control of territory and oil facilities. COMPLEX STRUGGLE Ali al-Hassi, a spokesman for an oil port protection force loyal to the official government, said the rival force had left positions west of Es Sider. More »

  • UN Security Council holds Libya arms embargo in place
    UN Security Council holds Libya arms embargo in place Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Friday to step up the fight against Islamic extremists in Libya but without lifting the arms embargo. More »

  • U.N. concerned by spread of arms in Libya, arms embargo unchanged Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council expressed concern on Friday at the proliferation of arms and ammunition in Libya as it left an arms embargo on the North African state unchanged and urged the recognised government to improve monitoring of its weapons. Libya and neighbouring Egypt asked the 15-member council last month to lift restrictions on government weapons imports so it could better fight extremist groups after Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians. Libya has descended into factional fighting, leaving the country almost lawless nearly four years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. Libya's internationally recognised government, led by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, has operated out of the east since a rival armed faction called Libya Dawn took over Tripoli in fighting last year and set up its own administration. More »

  • UN Security Council keeps in place Libya arms embargo Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council on Friday unanimously approved a resolution on Libya that keeps in place an arms embargo which the country's Western-recognized government says is hurting efforts to defend itself against the rise of the Islamic State group. More »

  • U.N. says Libyan parties need more time to agree unity government Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    Libya's warring factions need more time to agree on a unity government to end growing conflict and chaos in the oil producer, a U.N. envoy said on Thursday. Two rival governments and armed factions are battling for control of Libya and Islamist militants are gaining ground. Last week, the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), mediating at peace talks in Morocco, said a preliminary deal could be reached in a few days. "I was very realistic, and I said we were making progress," U.N. special envoy to Libya Bernadino Leon told reporters in Morocco. More »

  • UN sounds positive note as Libya deal remains elusive Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    SKHIRAT, Morocco (AP) — The U.N. envoy to Libya's peace talks sounded a positive note Thursday as negotiations between the rival governments took another break with a deal remaining elusive. More »

  • ISIL attacks to prove it is not cornered
    ISIL attacks to prove it is not cornered Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    ISIL's recent attacks in Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen show potential recruits that it can take its fight anywhere. More »

  • Islamic State fighters take on Libya's rival government forces
    Islamic State fighters take on Libya's rival government forces Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    By Ayman al-Warfalli BENGHAZI (Reuters) - Militants claiming allegiance to Islamic State fought forces loyal to Libya's two rival governments in the central city of Sirte and further east in Benghazi, state media and military officials said on Wednesday. In Sirte, Islamic State militants killed five members of a force loyal to the government that controls Tripoli, a Tripoli-based news agency said. The United Nations and military sources said the attack near a power station on Sirte's outskirts was a suicide bombing. ... More »

  • Islamic State group car bomb, clashes leave 17 dead in Libya Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — The Islamic State group's affiliate in Libya said it played a role in a string of suicide car bombings that killed 12 people Wednesday in the eastern city of Benghazi. Meanwhile, its militants carried out an attack on a rival militia in the central coastal city of Sirte, leaving five dead. More »

  • Is ISIS now taking over Tatooine? Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Prior to the attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis on March 18, three men were arrested in Tataouine for allegedly making plans to cross into Libya to join a terrorist network. Tataouine, which inspired the name of Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine, is close to several sites where the movies were filmed, including the location of the slave quarters in “Star Wars: Episode I” where young Anakin Skywalker and his mother lived, according to StarWars.com. Star Wars fans have been known to make pilgrimages to visit these sites and others scattered across Tunisia. Tunisia is increasingly concerned about the threat that the Islamic State poses in neighboring Libya. More »

  • U.N. tells backers of Libya's rival sides to pressure them for peace Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - International backers of Libya's rival factions must pressure the warring groups to work out a political deal and help to choke off the supply of guns to the country, a U.N. official said on Wednesday. The United Nations has been sponsoring talks to encourage the rival factions to form a unity government as a way to stop the conflict in the oil-producing country. "If we get a political agreement, the next thing is to convince the armed groups to basically back off," Claudio Cordone, head of human rights at the U.N. Mission in Libya, told a news conference in Geneva. The number of people now under arms, estimated at 100,000 to 300,000, was up to 10 times more than the 30,000 or so Libyans who took part in the revolution that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, he added. More »

  • Libyan activists 'under attack' by all sides: UN report
    Libyan activists 'under attack' by all sides: UN report Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Activists speaking up against abuses in war-torn Libya face reprisals from all sides in the chaotic conflict, and are increasingly being threatened, attacked, abducted and killed, the UN warned in a report Wednesday. More »

  • Islamic State militants kill five pro-Tripoli government fighters - Libyan news …
    Islamic State militants kill five pro-Tripoli government fighters - Libyan news … Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Militants loyal to Islamic State killed five members of a force loyal to the government that controls Tripoli and wounded two others in the coastal city of Sirte, a Tripoli-based news agency said on Wednesday, citing a military spokesman. Two military sources told Reuters the attack near the city's power station on its western outskirts appeared to be a suicide bombing but no more details were immediately available. Two governments and the forces that back them are vying for power four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. A group called Libya Dawn reinstated a previous assembly in Tripoli in August and the internationally recognised administration is now based in the east. More »

  • IS attack kills 5 militiamen in Libya's Sirte
    IS attack kills 5 militiamen in Libya's Sirte Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Militants with the Islamic State group killed five Islamist-backed militia fighters in an attack on a checkpoint Wednesday in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, a local official said. More »

  • More stick, less carrot needed in Libya
    More stick, less carrot needed in Libya Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    The UN should stop threatening Libyan war criminals with sanctions and actually implement it. More »

  • Islamic State releases Bangladeshi hostages in Libya oilfield attack Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Two Bangladeshi citizens, among a group of foreign workers taken hostage by the Islamic State militant group in an attack on a Libyan oilfield, have been released after more than two weeks, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Foreigners have increasingly become targets in Libya's turmoil, where two rival governments are battling for control and Islamist extremists have grown in the chaos that followed Muammar Gaddafi's ouster four years ago. Up to 10 foreign workers were missing after the attack on the Al-Ghani oilfield south of the city of Sirte, Czech and Libyan officials have said. Helal Uddin and Mohammed Anowar Hossain were released on Tuesday evening and now staying overnight at Sirte hospital, about 700 kms (435 miles) from Tripoli, the foreign ministry said in a statement. More »

  • ISIL claims suicide attack in Libya's Benghazi
    ISIL claims suicide attack in Libya's Benghazi Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Armed group claims responsibility for deadly attack that killed seven at army checkpoint in eastern city. More »

  • Islamic State claims suicide bombing in Libya's Benghazi Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    By Ayman al-Warfalli BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Islamic State militants claimed a suicide bombing that killed seven people at an army checkpoint in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday and triggered retaliatory air strikes by army forces. In a separate incident in Libya's second-largest city, where army forces are fighting Islamist militants, a rocket hit a residential building, killing a 17-year old girl and another person, medics said. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the checkpoint suicide bombing in a statement posted on Twitter. More »

  • Islamic State militants claim suicide bombing in Libya's Benghazi - sta … Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Militants claiming loyalty to Islamic State said they were responsible for a suicide bombing in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday, a statement said on Twitter. The militants posted pictures on social media of the attack and the alleged suicide bomber. The bombing killed seven people, army and medical sources have said. (Reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Lisa Shumaker) More »

  • Suicide bombing kills seven in Libya's Benghazi as army launches revenge … Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    By Ayman al-Warfalli BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Two suicide bombers drove a car packed with explosives into an army checkpoint in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday, killing seven people and triggering revenge air strikes by special forces blaming Islamist militants. Benghazi special forces commander Wanis Bukhamda told Reuters militants of the Ansar al-Sharia of group were responsible for the attack in the Lithi district, a stronghold of Islamists. Later in the evening war planes started from Benghazi airport attacking suspected Islamist positions as revenge, said Naser al-Hasi, a spokesman for the military base. The violence in Benghazi typifies chaos in Libya where two rival governments and parliaments allied to armed factions are competing for power in Libya four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. More »

  • Libya suicide bombs kill soldiers as UN presses peace
    Libya suicide bombs kill soldiers as UN presses peace Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    A suicide car bomb killed at least seven soldiers in Libya's second city Benghazi Tuesday, the same day the United Nations unveiled a proposal aimed at ending violence plaguing the oil-rich country. More »

  • Suicide bombers kill 5, wound 20 in Libya's Benghazi Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    CAIRO (AP) — A spokesman for the Libyan army says suicide bombers in two cars have attacked an army checkpoint in the eastern city of Benghazi, killing five people and wounding 20. More »

  • U.N. proposes 'presidential council' to Libyan rival factions Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    By Ayman al-Warfalli and Aziz El Yaakoubi BENGHAZI/RABAT (Reuters) - The United Nations tried on Tuesday to persuade Libyan rival factions to form a unity government by appointing a "presidential council" to try to resolve conflict in the oil-producing country. The U.N. has been mediating to encourage the formation of a unity government. After weeks of talks, the U.N. proposed a council headed by a president and including two deputies and "independent personalities not belonging to any party or affiliated with any group," the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement. More »

  • Women's media group honors photographer Heidi Levine
    Women's media group honors photographer Heidi Levine Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Photographer Heidi Levine, who has spent 30 years covering war zones and revolutions in the Middle East, Libya and Syria, was named Tuesday as the inaugural winner of an award for courage named for Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus. More »

  • Tunisia's Bardo museum in symbolic reopening and march after attacks
    Tunisia's Bardo museum in symbolic reopening and march after attacks Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    By Patrick Markey and Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia's Bardo museum held a ceremonial reopening on Tuesday a week after gunmen claiming alliance with Islamic State killed 20 foreign tourists in an attack aimed at wrecking the country's vital tourism industry. Tunisia is keen to show it can recover from the attack which threatens to damage tourism and mar the country's young democracy four years after a 2011 uprising ended the one-party rule of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. Security forces later shot dead the two men, who had been recruited at mosques in Tunisia and subsequently trained at a jihadist camp in Libya. Tunisians carrying national flags and waving "Visit Tunisia" signs gathered behind barriers outside the Bardo, where dignitaries were invited under tight security to a symbolic reopening with an orchestra playing inside the museum hall. More »

  • UN calls for Libya unity government, presidential council Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    RABAT, Morocco (AP) — The United Nations wants to keep Libya's elected parliament and set up a unity government led by independents, it announced Tuesday in a statement outlining its proposed solution to a conflict that has effectively split the country in half. More »

  • Tunisia closes airspace to western Libya for security reasons Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    Tunisia has again closed its airspace for flights from western Libya, an official said on Tuesday, just days after allowing Libyan planes from Tripoli back for the first time in around six months. "We've suspended temporarily again Libya flights for security reasons," the transport ministry official said, without elaborating. Tunisian officials say the two gunmen had been trained at a jihadist camp in Libya, where Islamic State has made inroads. Tunisia is worried violence will spill over from Libya, where two rival governments fight for control four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. More »

  • Oil ETF investors, not just OPEC, hold sway over crude market Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tumult in Libya, U.S. rig counts, production plans of the oil exporting cartel and a pact on nuclear relations with Iran can all affect crude supply and demand, but oil traders have kept an equally close watch on retail investors in recent weeks. Those investors and hedge funds, betting on a reversal of oil's long rout, poured billions of dollars into exchange traded products at the tail end of the slide last year, providing unexpected support that helped prices stabilise. There is a risk, however, that their bets could unravel and send oil prices tumbling again because of a market constellation where spot prices may head lower, but storage bottlenecks make futures contracts months ahead more expensive. More »

  • Eight killed in air strike as Libya government aims to recapture capital Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    By Ahmed Elumami and Ayman al-Warfalli TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI (Reuters) - Eight civilians were killed in an air strike near Tripoli on Monday, the U.S. ambassador said, as Libya's internationally recognised government pressed on with an assault to recapture the capital it abandoned to a rival faction last year. Four years after NATO warplanes helped dislodge dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has descended into chaos, with two rival governments fighting for control, both fielding armies of former rebel fighters and air forces that bomb rival territory. The internationally recognised government has been based in the country's east since being driven out of the capital last August by an alliance of armed groups called Libya's Dawn, which has set up its own rival government and parliament. On Friday, the eastern-based government announced an assault to recapture Tripoli, even as the sides are both attending U.N.-hosted peace talks in Morocco. More »

  • Libya Dawn plane shot down by forces loyal to Tobruk
    Libya Dawn plane shot down by forces loyal to Tobruk Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    Official says fighter jet downed as it tried to bomb Zintan, a western town supportive of the UN-recognised government. More »

  • Algeria temporarily evacuates Turkish workers after IS threat - sources Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    By Lamine Chikhi ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerian authorities temporarily evacuated nearly 100 Turkish construction workers from a roadway project east of Algiers as a precaution after a threat from militants affiliated with Islamic State, security sources said on Monday. The measure underscores growing concern over militant attacks in North Africa following last week's Bardo museum massacre of foreign tourists in Tunisia and Islamic State's growing presence in neighbouring Libya. A French tourist was kidnapped and beheaded in the area by Islamic State loyalists last year. Algeria, which saw a decade of Islamist insurrection in the 1990s in which 200,000 people were killed, is a top U.S. ally in the fight against Islamist militancy in the Sahel region. More »