Clashes Return to Libya’s South as Skirmishes Surface in Derna

Clashes Return to Libya’s South as Skirmishes Surface in Derna

Wednesday, 25 April, 2018 - 09:00
A vehicle mounted with a weapon during clashes with the Shura Council of Libyan Revolutionaries in Benghazi, Libya April 19, 2016. REUTERS
Cairo – Khaled Mahmoud, Jamal Johar
Libyan National Army force and extremist groups have had limited skirmishes in the city of Derna, the last stronghold of extremists in the African country’s east coast.

On another hand, lawyers in different parts of the country have condemned the death of a fellow legal representative in a Tripoli prison under unknown circumstances.

Lawyers at sub-syndicates in Sabha, Benghazi and Tobruk demanded an immediate and impartial investigation into the death of their colleague, “in order to uncover the truth,” stressing the need to “immediately halt all illegal measures stripping legal representatives from immunity,” Sabha Lawyer Ali Emlidi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

"We demand an immediate investigation into the incident and the investigation should be impartial, objective and transparent in order to uncover the truth," the lawyers demanded in a statement.

Lawyers’ unions in Benghazi, Tobruk, and Tripoli have held protests to denounce the killing of Bin Rajab and demanded the disclosure of the circumstances of his death.

Military sources said clashes erupted between army force and elements of a radical in the Wadi Arqub al-Dabaa, a mountainous area west of Derna.

Sources later announced that army forces had foiled a “terrorist operation.”

In the southern city of Sabha, two people were killed and five other civilians were injured in renewed clashes.

At least 12 people were killed and over 50 injured, in addition to the displacement of more than 200 families from the conflict zones.

Italian media reports said the Italian government feared the situation in Libya would worsen as irregular migration surged towards the southern shores of the country late last week.

"Italy is afraid of a deterioration of the situation in Libya," the Italian news agency Aki said.

The news agency added that the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, is “struggling to get a position on the ground,” and worrying news on the health situation of LNA Commander Marshal Khalifa Hafter, are greatly destabilizing factors.

The Italian authorities also considered that “militias and criminal organizations, which find human trafficking in common land, benefit from these difficulties.”

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