ALGIERS (Reuters) – Al Qaeda took hostage an Algerian regional governor near the Libyan border, security sources said on Tuesday, an incident that will raise new concerns about militants exploiting Libya’s security vacuum.
The kidnapping, deep in the Sahara desert, was the most audacious attack on a senior Algerian official in years. One security expert said al Qaeda has been emboldened because its fighters could use Libya, in turmoil since Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow, as a safe haven.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s north African branch is holding the governor of an Algerian desert region kidnapped near the border with Libya, security sources said on Tuesday.
The abduction of the governor, the most senior Algerian official to be kidnapped in years, will reinforce worries that the overthrow of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi has created a zone of instability now being exploited by al Qaeda.
LAGHOUAT, Algeria (Reuters) – Every time it rains, Fatina Binoun takes her three young children to stay with relatives because she is afraid the downpour will bring down the walls of her decaying house.
Binoun, 30, and her husband live in a rented two-storey building in the Algerian town of Laghouat, on the northern edge of the Sahara desert about 400 km (250 miles) south of the capital.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – The Algeria state announced on Sunday it will acquire a 51 percent stake in Vimpelcom’s Djezzy mobile phone unit and keep Vimpelcom on as operator, but it has still not decided how much it will pay for the stake.
Vimpelcom acquired Djezzy as part of a $6 billion deal to buy the assets of Egyptian firm Orascom Telecom but the transaction was clouded by uncertainty about what Algeria’s government planned to do with the unit.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – A lawyer for Muammar Gaddafi’s daughter said on Wednesday he had written to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ask if an investigation had been launched into the killing of her father and brother.
A copy of the letter, seen by Reuters, said that Muammar Gaddafi and his son Mo’tassim were “murdered in the most horrific fashion with their bodies thereafter displayed and grotesquely abused in complete defiance of Islamic law.”
MISRATA, Libya, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Militias outside the
control of Libya’s central government are holding vast stores of
tanks, rockets and small arms in the city of Misrata, an arsenal
that will test the ability of the country’s new rulers to assert
A Reuters team gained rare access to militia warehouses in
Misrata and counted thousands of boxes of arms and ammunition,
most of it seized from forces loyal to ousted leader Muammar
Gaddafi and hauled back to the city in trucks.
JANZOUR, Libya (Reuters) – One local official was killed and a militia base reduced to ruins in a clash between rival armed groups near the Libyan capital, the latest flare-up of tension between militias that is destabilising the new Libya.
Two months after Muammar Gaddafi was killed, Libya’s new government is still unable to impose its authority on the ground, leaving security in the hands of militias which answer only to themselves and often wage turf wars with their rivals.
When night falls on the street outside Tripoli’s Abdullah Eshaab mosque, theological discussions often break out. Lately, they have taken place at the point of a gun. On three occasions this month, groups of ultra-purist Islamists have turned up at the mosque gates after dark, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, 106-mm anti-tank cannon and truck-mounted Grad rockets, according to a cleric at the mosque.
TRIPOLI, Nov 30 (Reuters) – When night falls on the
street outside Tripoli’s Abdullah Eshaab mosque, theological
discussions often break out. Lately, they have taken place at
the point of a gun.
On three occasions this month, groups of ultra-purist
Islamists have turned up at the mosque gates after dark, armed
with Kalashnikov rifles, 106-mm anti-tank cannon and
truck-mounted Grad rockets, according to a cleric at the mosque.
The Islamist who commands one of Libya’s most powerful militias, Abdel Hakim Belhadj, has said he will back the interim national government despite his supporters being overlooked for top posts. But he would not commit to a date for the forces under his control to hand over their weapons to the government, a crucial test of whether Libya after the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi can form a cohesive state.