News / Middle East

Gunmen Kill Libya's Military Police Commander

Various army special forces trucks arrive at scene after fighting broke out near offices of the Libya Shield pro-government militia, Benghazi, Libya, June 8, 2013.
Various army special forces trucks arrive at scene after fighting broke out near offices of the Libya Shield pro-government militia, Benghazi, Libya, June 8, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Gunmen shot dead Libya's military police force commander in the restive eastern city of Benghazi as he was about attend Friday prayers, a security source said, triggering a violent response from residents.
 
The attack is the latest blow to a weak Libyan government that is struggling to assert control over militias and radical Islamists two years after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.
 
Unknown gunmen opened fire on Ahmed al-Barghathi as he left his house to go to a mosque. “He was brought to hospital but later died there,” the source said.
 
Several army officers have been assassinated in Benghazi, where the U.S. ambassador was killed during an Islamist assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission a year ago. The shooting of Barghathi, who was on vacation in the city, is the highest profile attack there for weeks.
 
Several hours after the shooting, dozens of residents joined members of Barghathi's tribe in storming the house of prominent militia leader Wissam Ben Hamid, witnesses said. His house was set ablaze but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
 
Some of the protesters accused Hamid, leader of the Libya Shield Brigade, of having a role in the killing of Barghathi, who had been trying to restore order in Benghazi and elsewhere.
 
Libya Shield, an umbrella of former rebels who say they are now allied to the defense ministry, was not immediately available for comment.
 
In June, at least 31 people were killed in clashes between the militia and armed protesters who demanded that the group disarm. Many ordinary Libyans are fed up with armed young men roaming the streets.
 
The government has been unable to disarm myriad militias and radical Islamists in a country awash with guns from the Gadhafi era and foreign weapons supplied in 2011 to help the Western-backed uprising.
 
Last week, former rebels briefly seized Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from the Tripoli hotel where he lives during a dawn raid, only to release him hours later.
 
The gunmen who snatched Zeidan — former anti-Gadhafi rebels now on the government payroll — said they were angry at reports the government had been informed in advance of a U.S. raid to capture an al-Qaida suspect in Libya. Zeidan called the kidnapping a coup attempt.
 
Zeidan, a liberal, has come under pressure for failing to improve public services since Gadhafi's overthrow and has faced a wave of strikes and protests that have closed most oil ports in the OPEC producer.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid