When it comes to Islam, moderation is the keyword in Libya, a country at pains to assure the world that it will not become a center of extremism now that anti-Islamist leader Muammar Gaddafi has gone. On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York by al Qaeda, Libya’s new de-facto president made a point of addressing the future of Islam in his country, which many abroad fear could take a militant turn.
“Ninety percent of us are moderate Muslims … five percent are on the right and left sides,” said Mustafa Abdel Jalil late on Saturday, in his first public appearance in Tripoli since it fell to anti-Gaddafi fighters on August 23. He urged unity and asked those with more marginal views on religion to restrict their sparring to debate.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – - When it comes to Islam, moderation is the keyword in Libya, a country at pains assure the world that it will not become a center of extremism now that anti-Islamist leader Muammar Gaddafi has gone.
On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York by al Qaeda, Libya’s new de-facto president made a point of addressing the future of Islam in his country, which many abroad fear could take a militant turn.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi did not like sports stars because he feared they would draw the national spotlight away from him, and for a time soccer players could only be referred to on television by their number.
Nabil Elalem, executive head of Libya’s National Olympic Committee, said that, for decades under Gaddafi’s rule, athletes and sports officials put up with other forms of state meddling, as well as corruption, restrictions on travel and chronic underfunding.
TRIPOLI, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Some senior Muammar Gaddafi
loyalists are among a new group that has fled to Niger, security
sources there said on Friday, a day before a deadline expires
for the surrender of some of the deposed leader’s remaining
strongholds in Libya.
Gaddafi himself declared in an audio broadcast on Thursday
that he was still in Libya, cursing as rats and stray dogs his
NATO-backed opponents who are now trying to run the large,
oil-producing North African country.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – The man tasked with running the new Libya reminded his forces that the war was not yet over as the latest deadline for the surrender of pro Muammar Gaddafi towns loomed and fighters massed on both sides.
Earlier on Thursday, the voice of the on-the-run former leader boomed out from his hiding place, denying he had fled Libya and cursing as rats and stray dogs those whose efforts to start governing in his place are being frustrated by his die-hard followers.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s internationally backed interim council has yet to establish a credible administration in Tripoli, where makeshift armed brigades united only by the six-month struggle against Muammar Gaddafi are now jostling for influence.
Elections are planned, but for now seem a distant prospect to the disparate fighters seeking a stake in Libya’s future.
TRIPOLI, Sept 8 (Reuters) – - Muammar Gaddafi vowed to
remain on Libyan soil battling NATO and the country’s new
leaders, dismissing reports that he had secretly fled towards
bordering African states as part of a military convoy.
His defiant comments to Syrian-owned TV came as fighters
advanced on the tribal bastion of Bani Walid overnight, girding
for a showdown with loyalist supporters in a town they suspect
could be harbouring the ousted strongman and two of his sons.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi has probably left the Libyan desert town of Bani Walid and is heading further south, with the help of loyalist tribes, toward Chad or Niger, a senior military official in Libya’s new leadership told Reuters.
Hisham Buhagiar, who is coordinating efforts to find the former Libyan leader, said reports indicate he may have been in the region of the southern village of Ghwat, some 950 km (590 miles) south of Tripoli and 300 km north of the border with Niger, three days ago.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s new leadership has evidence Muammar Gaddafi bought arms this year from sanctions-busting traders in China and Europe, many of them via Algeria, but are split over how far to retaliate against governments who failed to stop it.
In interviews with Reuters in Tripoli on Monday, officials of the National Transitional Council (NTC) made plain that feelings are running high against neighboring Algeria, which one described as Gaddafi’s “right-hand man.” Libya may also seek legal and diplomatic redress against suppliers and governments.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s new leadership has evidence Muammar Gaddafi bought arms from companies in China and Western countries in defiance of U.N. sanctions and now plans legal and diplomatic action, a military spokesman said in Tripoli on Monday.
“We’ll be going through legal channels, through international courts, as well as the United Nations itself,” Abdul Rahman Busin told Reuters. “Either to prosecute them or to come to a diplomatic understanding.”