News / Africa

US Says Few Answers in Slain Libyan Rebel Leader's Death

Libyan rebel forces chief commander Abdel Fattah Younes speaks during a rally in the rebel-held city of Benghazi, July 6, 2011
Libyan rebel forces chief commander Abdel Fattah Younes speaks during a rally in the rebel-held city of Benghazi, July 6, 2011

There are more questions than answers in the killing of a senior member of Libya's opposition Transitional National Council, or TNC.  Reports out of eastern Libya include allegations that pro-Gadhafi agents killed the senior opposition figure, while others allege members of the opposition were behind the attack. The U.S. State Department says that while it is too soon to know the details, the Libyan opposition must remain unified.  

The State Department's deputy spokesman, Mark Toner, characterized the situation on the ground in the rebel-stronghold Benghazi as both fluid and calm Friday.  

One day after the head of the TNC announced that the body's top military commander, Abdel Fattah Younes, and two of his aides were shot dead, Toner told reporters at the State Department that there were few definitive answers.  

"The details surrounding the killing of Transitional National Council's Chief of Staff Younes, as well as two other officers, are still unclear.  Our envoy in Benghazi and his team are talking to the Transitional National Council, trying to get a better picture of what exactly happened," said Toner.

Younes had been Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's interior minister and one of his closest confidants until earlier this year. Younes' defection to the opposition, not long after the Libyan uprising began in February, was unexpected.

Libyan rebels said they had summoned Younes shortly before his death on suspicion his family still had ties to Gadhafi's inner circle.

The United States joined 30 countries earlier this month in recognizing the TNC as the legitimate governing authority in Libya. Washington continues to call on Gadhafi to step aside.

Toner said it is important for the Libyan opposition to maintain its unity. He noted that Younes' death poses yet another challenge for the fledgling Transitional National Council.

"He is a senior figure, and they've lost both his military expertise and his leadership, and again, it's very unclear who was at fault here. We've seen reports that this was an internal matter," said Toner. "We've reached no conclusions yet. I don't think any conclusions have been reached yet. But in this kind of fluid situation, you know, it's important to keep, if you will, eyes on the prize, which is the democratic transition for the Libyan people."

Toner said he he does not know if the U.S has formally offered to help investigate the three deaths.

The head of the Transitional National Council, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, announced the deaths and three days of mourning late Thursday. At that time, he provided few details to journalists about the attack on Younes and his aides.

The funeral for the Libyan rebel commander was held Friday in Benghazi.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid