Despite optimism that the disputes and strikes that have been afflicting the Oil and Gas sector were about to be resolved they appear to be continuing despite the port of Hariga near Tobruk re-opening following negotiations with the local tribe. Only yesterday there were reports of guards in central Libya threatening to shut off a key gas pipeline to Tripoli unless their demands for salary increases are met.
Pressure continues to build on Ali Zeidan to resign due to the lacklustre performance of his government with protesters gathering on Sunday outside many of the ministries and other government buildings in Tripoli. He continues to withstand their criticisms and battle on.
Libyan authorities detained 4 members of the US Embassy at a checkpoint to the west of Tripoli near the city of Sabratha. They were later released and claimed to be checking potential evacuation routes as part of the Embassy’s emergency contingency plans.
Benghazi continues to suffer from the concerted assassination campaign to kill members of the security forces in the city. A further 3 were killed this week across the city.
It was announced yesterday by Tunisia’s state news agency that Libyan and US forces had captured Saifallah Benahssine, the leader of Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia. He was reportedly captured in Misrata in a joint operation. Neither Libyan nor US authorities will confirm the capture of this significant Islamist figure.
Tripolitania (Western Libya)
Nothing significant to report.
Cyrenaica (Eastern Libya)
The targeted killings have continued in Libya’s second city, Benghazi with Colonel Suweri being killed earlier in the week. He is believed to have worked in the Army data centre and was killed in a drive-by shooting. This was followed by Wing Commander Al-Zwai, who was shot on his way to Friday Prayers. Another body, as yet unidentified but in military uniform, was also recovered on Friday in the Hawari district of the city.
There has been another prison break-out this week this time in Ajdabiya with some 40 men escaping. Reports from the Joint Security Room in the town talk of collusion between prison guards and inmates as the cause. Some prisoners were subsequently recaptured but the vast majority still remain at large. This is but the latest in a long line of prison breaks this year across the country.