News / Africa

Libyan Rebels Consolidate Gains as Terror Grips Capital

A fuel storage depot, burns after being struck during fighting between rebels and pro-Moammar Gadhafi forces, in Sedra, eastern Libya, March 9, 2011.
A fuel storage depot, burns after being struck during fighting between rebels and pro-Moammar Gadhafi forces, in Sedra, eastern Libya, March 9, 2011.

Libyan rebels reinforced a key oil port Thursday following new airstrikes launched by leader Moammar Gadhafi while residents in the capital, Tripoli, reported constant surveillance, searches by armed militiamen and disappearances of those involved in protests.

Several people in the Tripoli neighborhoods of Feshloom and Tajoura say pro-Gadhafi militiamen have launched a wave of raids to snatch people who participated in anti-government demonstrations during the past week after identifying them in photos and video.

Residents in the areas, each a hotbed of resistance, say disappearances have continued all week as the security forces appear to be rounding up suspected protesters in anticipation of Friday prayer services, which has been a time for street protests across the Arab world.

One witness said dozens have been arrested from their homes in dawn raids in Tajoura.  A number of residents said they feared the killings and disappearances had scared many away from demonstrating on Friday.

The developments came as rebel forces in the eastern oil-refinery town of Brega consolidated their westernmost positions Thursday, a day after they successfully repulsed an offensive by forces loyal to Mr. Gadhafi, who had seized the city's oil refinery Wednesday morning.

Libyan warplanes launched new air strikes Thursday against Brega, which lies on the Gulf of Sirte about 800 kilometers east of the capital, Tripoli. But the son of the country's embattled leader said the bombs were only intended to "frighten" anti-regime forces there. Witnesses said the strikes by Gadhafi loyalists targeted the city's airport, near the oil terminal. Oil officials say Libyan production has been "halved" due to the nationwide unrest.

Meanwhile, rumors flew Thursday of government troops regrouping and being joined by hundreds of mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa. Officials in northern Mali said Mr. Gadhafi is actively recruiting young Tuareg men from Mali and Niger, including former rebels.

The French news agency, AFP, quoted a regional leader, Abdou Salam Ag Assalat, as saying young people "are going en masse [to Libya]." He said regional authorities "are trying to dissuade them" from leaving but that it is not easy as there are "dollars and weapons" waiting for them. Assalat reportedly said an entire network is in place to organize the trip to Libya.

Mali is one of the world's poorest countries, where nearly two-thirds of the population earns less than $1 a day.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid