By Gary Sandiford, Olive Group’s Dubai based assessments manager. Olive Group is a leading provider of security and technology solutions and has been operating in Libya since mid 2011.
The outgoing National Transitional Council (NTC) announced that it would formally hand over power to the new elected assembly on 8 August, amid apparently increasing violence in Libya. It appears highly likely that Mahmud Jibril’s National Forces Alliance (NFA) will be the dominant bloc, supported by a sizable majority of independents.
The last seven days has seen continued attacks in Tripoli and Benghazi. Most significantly, a car bomb detonated near a military police headquarters in downtown Tripoli on 4 August, the first reported car bomb in the capital since the fall of the previous regime. A military base in Mizdah, 150km south of the capital, came under attack on 3 August by unknown assailants and gunmen attacked an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) compound in Misratah to the east of the capital on 5 August.
Benghazi still remains the focus for most of the urban violence in Libya. Gunmen kidnapped a seven-member Iranian delegation from the Iranian Red Crescent in Benghazi on 31 July. It was subsequently reported that the kidnapers were demanding that Iran pressure Iraq to release a number of Libyan prisoners held in Iraq jails. Libyan media also reported that military intelligence building in Benghazi was hit by an improvised explosive device on 1 August; the bombing was reported to have coincided with a jailbreak that freed an Islamist militant. Elsewhere, security forces were reported to have defused two bombs near to the Office of National Security in Benghazi on 3 August.