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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, here's what the history of take-out food tells us about changes in American society

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora