News / Africa

Libyan Rebels Say Military Chief Shot Dead

Head of the rebel forces, Abdel Fattah Younes attends a news conference in Benghazi, April 6, 2011
Head of the rebel forces, Abdel Fattah Younes attends a news conference in Benghazi, April 6, 2011

Libya's rebel leadership council says its top military commander, Abdel Fattah Younes, and two of his aides have been shot dead by unknown assailants.

Transitional National Council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil said Thursday that Younes and his aides - both colonels - were killed before arriving for questioning at an opposition judicial committee hearing regarding a "military matter."

He said the head of the armed cell that killed the men had been arrested.

Jalil never clearly indicated who he thought was behind the attack.  But he called on rebel forces to ignore "efforts to break our unity" by leader Moammar Gadhafi's government.  He also warned of "armed criminal gangs" in rebel-held cities, saying they needed to join the fight against Gadhafi or risk being arrested by security forces.

Hours earlier, the rebels said they had detained Younes on suspicion his family may still have ties to Gadhafi's inner circle.

Younes had been the Libyan leader's interior minister and one of his closest confidants before unexpectedly defecting to the opposition early in the uprising, which began in February.  He was part of the group involved in the 1969 coup that brought Gadhafi to power.

Jalil called Younes "one of the heroes of the February 17 Revolution."  He said the rebels would observe three days of mourning following his death and vowed his forces would continue their fight to overthrow Gadhafi's government.

Earlier Thursday, the Libyan opposition said it seized the western town of Ghezaia after launching a new offensive in the region.

Medical officials said at least two rebels were killed in fighting with loyalist forces in the area, which is near the Tunisian border. Gadhafi's troops had used the town as a base to launch attacks on rebels in the nearby mountains.

The fighting comes a day after Jalil said the council's offer for Gadhafi to remain in the country if he cedes power had expired.  Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi has said Gadhafi's departure is not up for discussion.

The Libyan government also condemned Britain's decision to recognize the opposition council and expel all of Libya's diplomats, calling the moves "illegal and irresponsible."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday the decision is based on the opposition's increasing legitimacy, competency and success in reaching out to Libyans across the country.

Hague said the opposition council is working toward a more open and democratic Libya, which he said is in "stark contrast" to Gadhafi, whose "brutality" against the Libyan people has stripped him of legitimacy.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid