News / Middle East

Rogue General's Forces Attack Libyan Parliament

Armed men aim their weapons from a vehicle as smoke rises in the background near the Libyan parliament building in Tripoli May 18, 2014.
Armed men aim their weapons from a vehicle as smoke rises in the background near the Libyan parliament building in Tripoli May 18, 2014.
Edward Yeranian
Armed men attacked the building where Libya's parliament was meeting Sunday.

The operation was carried out by two militia units loyal to a retired general. As they stormed the building, they ransacking lawmakers' offices and fired automatic weapons into the air.  Shelling could also be heard in the vicinity of the building, as clouds of black smoke poured into the air.
 
Libyan state TV reported the armed units kidnapped Speaker Nouri Bousahmein and seven other lawmakers.  Al Jazeera TV and the local Libyan al Mada network reported that Bousahmein denied he had been kidnapped.
General Khalifa Haftar attends a news conference in Abyar, east of Benghazi, May 17, 2014.General Khalifa Haftar attends a news conference in Abyar, east of Benghazi, May 17, 2014.
x
General Khalifa Haftar attends a news conference in Abyar, east of Benghazi, May 17, 2014.
General Khalifa Haftar attends a news conference in Abyar, east of Benghazi, May 17, 2014.

 
Earlier, at a news conference, Bousahmein had called the attack by men loyal to former Army Chief of Staff Khalifa Haftar “a coup” against Libya's “legitimate government,” and called on opposing militias, belonging to mostly Islamist groups, to “counter the attacks.”  He said General Haftar and his supporters should be arrested.
 
Haftar's supporters told Al Arabiya TV the attack on the parliament building was intended to “block the appointment of a new government” under businessmen Ahmed Maitiq.
 
Maitiq's appointment as prime minister two weeks ago was disputed by top lawmakers who claimed his confirmation vote took place without a quorum.  Maitiq is supported by Islamist lawmakers and militias.  A pro-Western prime minister, Ali Zeidan, was removed from office in a disputed vote of no-confidence early last month.

Haftar insisted in a video message broadcast on Arab TV networks that military operations he was conducting were in response to a demand by the Libyan people to “restore order” and “rid the country of terrorism.”
 
Libya's outgoing caretaker Prime Minister Abdallah al Thani issued a statement read on Libyan TV, accusing Haftar's forces of trying to “topple Libya's legitimate government.”
 
Forces loyal to Haftar blocked roads around the parliament building as well as a road leading to the capital's main airport.  Arab satellite channels also reported warplanes loyal to the general overflew the capital.  His forces fought against Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
May 18, 2014 7:20 PM
MY OPINION? -- General Haftar is a (CIA) and US bought and paid for Libyan militia leader -- who is supported and supplied by the US government, to seize the Libyan government by force, and request NATO forces to help him bring stability to Libya -- (AND?) -- US military forces are already standing by in Cyprus, to seize the Libyan oil companies from the (6 million) Libyans...
LIBYAN OIL AND GAS -- is what Europe needs, and General Haftar is going to deliver it to the Europeans, with the help of the CIA and the US government.. -- (I may be wrong, but lets see what General Haftar and the CIA, US, EU, and NATO does?) --- (that's my opinion, and what happens next, will see if I'm right or wrong?)..
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
May 18, 2014 10:18 PM
manbill. .I believe that you fantasy is getting too far. CIA is not supported General Hafter. what you say is is absurd. the county is in anarchy state after they overthrown Quaddfi. . The Libyan Arsenal in the hand of terrorism either in Syria or in different African country. no drone attack, nor Cia involve. No army from other planet . it is Libyan against Libyan. it is tribe against other tribe . it happened in Algeria . morocco. Syria, Lebanon. Rwanda .Uganda. And ivory coast . you can ask the British colony about tribe conflict..you can go India when the severe civil war erupted in 1949 Or Sudan in Darfur and south Sudan. I hope my words help your imagination

by: Clutilde from: France
May 18, 2014 1:18 PM
here we have a courageous General who want Islamists in Libya expunged from their villainous designs on Government... Which by the way, Islam does not recognize any sort of "Government" - and look at Obama trying to destroy this courageous General. The US has gone mad...

by: meanbill from: USA
May 18, 2014 12:52 PM
Rumor has it that General Khafifa Haftar is supported and supplied weapons by the (CIA) and has been working for the US to kill the opposition to the western and Saudi oil and gas companies in Libya... (An underwater oil and gas pipeline to Cyprus and Europe is planned?). --
PS; - US troops are in Cyprus now, waiting for General Khafifa Haftar to seize the Libyan government? -- IS he planning to seize the Libyan government (and ask for NATO military assistance), to seize the oil and gas from the 6 million Libyans --- and is that the real reason Qaddafi and his family had to die? -- and ambassador Stevens too?
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
May 18, 2014 10:28 PM
CIA is no ta common factor in every conflict in the world .CIA is not have the ability to instigate civil war in different part of the world .it is not the interest of Us to instigate all the wars . people are suffering as a result of the war .

by: ali baba from: new york
May 18, 2014 12:42 PM
it looks like another civil war will be erupted at Libya . This another proof positive that politician In US who supported the Libyan rebel had done another blunder . despite quadaffi his strange behavior and his former support to terrorism ,he is far better to Libya. than the rebel. , In US especially the genus from Harvard ,They .can not understand the nature of Arab behavior .once any body come to Washington and wear suit and tie and say he magic words which they are freedom and democracy. ,the us treasury will be open and arm will be given then later four American and the ambassador killed from the same people who claim freedom and democracy .what they did ,is a stab from he back

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs