News / Middle East

    Renegade Libyan General Survives Assassination Attempt

    Irregular forces loyal to former army general Khalifa Haftar stand with armed vehicles during clashes with Islamist militants, Benghazi June 2, 2014.
    Irregular forces loyal to former army general Khalifa Haftar stand with armed vehicles during clashes with Islamist militants, Benghazi June 2, 2014.
    VOA News
    Rogue Libyan General Khalifa Haftar survived an assassination attempt at his residence in the eastern city of Benghazi, where he has been leading an offensive against Islamist militants.

    Military officials say a suicide bomber drove a vehicle packed with explosives to the Haftar compound gate Wednesday. Three soldiers were killed and several others were wounded, including the Libyan air force chief of staff Saqi al-Jerushi.

    Haftar was unhurt in the explosion. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    The 71-year-old general, a former top military commander in the Gadhafi-era, has embarked on a weeks-long campaign against Islamist militias, whom he says Libya’s weak federal government has failed to curtail.

    Haftar's latest assault on Monday left 20 dead in Benghazi and dozens injured.

    Prime minister targeted

    Also Wednesday, unidentified gunmen fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the office of new Libyan Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq on Wednesday, one of his aides said.
     
    The projectile hit the building's kitchen, located on the same floor as Maiteeq's office, the aide said, adding that the premier had not been there.
     
    Libya has been plagued by political infighting, with government and parliament unable to control militias that have defied state authority since ousting Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
     
    Maiteeq was elected by parliament last month in a chaotic vote that many lawmakers disputed.
     
    Outgoing Premier Abdullah al-Thinni has refused to hand over power, saying he wanted to wait for a legal ruling on whether Maiteeq's election was legitimate.

    In an attempt to reinforce his authority, Maiteeq took over the prime minister's office on Monday night, backed by a police escort.
     
    Retired general's base attacked

    Earlier, a suicide bomber drove a Land Cruiser packed with explosives to retired general Haftar's base, his spokesman, Mohamed el-Hejazi, said, adding Haftar had not been hurt. Military sources said two of Haftar's guards were killed.
     
    Haftar has launched a campaign to remove Islamists from the North African country.

    In other violence, the International Committee of the Red Cross says one of its aid workers, a Swiss citizen, was killed by unknown gunmen in the Libyan town of Sirte. No further details of the attack have been released.

    Some material for this report provided by Reuters

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    Comments
         
    by: meanbill from: USA
    June 04, 2014 1:36 PM
    If general Haftar is killed or dies before he takes the Libyan government in a coup, and names himself President -- he won't be able to sign the "Unequal Treaty" with the US, EU, and NATO countries -- giving control of all the Libyan oil and gas to the Europeans -- and giving the Europeans the right to use deadly force to protect the Libyan oil and gas they will control....

    General Haftar is a bought and paid for (CIA) trained militia leader, who is joined with the other Libyan fighters trained in NATO countries -- (have only one purpose) -- to seize the Libyan government, name Haftar President, so he can sign an "Unequal Treaty" that gives away the Libyan oil and gas to the US, EU, and NATO countries.... (A country of 6.2 million Libyans can't stop it, can they?).
    In Response

    by: George truthi from: UK
    June 07, 2014 5:06 PM
    The fact a solider who was taken
    as a pow by Chad is back leading
    a group of former Gaddafi forces
    is telling of the chaos that is Libya.
    Why was Gadadfi able to create
    Security? People cannot accept the
    Fact that Libya wasn't created bybagaddafi,
    He was created by the void of Libyan unity

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