New Libyan parliament meets far from urban battlegrounds

TOBRUK, Libya (Reuters) – Libya’s newly elected House of Representatives held its first session yesterday, holed up in a heavily guarded provincial hotel as armed factions turned the two biggest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi, into battlefields.Western governments, which have mostly evacuated their diplomats after two weeks of fighting, hope the new parliament can create space for negotiations after the worst clashes since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

But there was no sign of a let-up in the capital, Tripoli, where a huge cloud of black smoke spread over the south of the city again yesterday after a fuel depot near the international airport was hit for the second time in a week as rival Zintan and Misrata brigades battled for control.

In southern Tripoli, at one of the front lines between warring factions, one block of partially built apartments was on fire after being hit. Nearby streets were littered with shell casings from machine-gun fire where Zintan fighters had defended their positions.

Fighting with rockets, anti-aircraft cannon and other heavy artillery in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi has killed more than 200 people, and edged Libya closer to full-scale civil war just three years after the NATO-backed revolution. Britain became the latest Western government to announce it would close its embassy, fearing being caught in the crossfire.

Sky News reported yesterday that a Royal Navy vessel was moving into position off the coast of North Africa, preparing to evacuate British nationals from Libya. Britain’s Ministry of Defence said it did not give details of any assistance it was providing for operational reasons. With its national army still in formation, Libya has struggled to control heavily armed factions that have entrenched themselves as de facto power brokers in the messy transition since Gaddafi’s one-man rule.

Elected in June, lawmakers met yesterday for an emergency session in Tobruk, a coastal city east of Benghazi, where they are supposed to form a new government that many Libyans hope will be a step to ending the crisis.

Latest in World News

Boris Johnson

British EU vote unnerves world leaders and markets

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Britain plunged deeper into political crisis yesterday after its vote to exit the European Union last Thursday, leaving world officials and financial markets confused about how to handle the political and economic fallout.

default placeholder

Spanish vote delivers more uncertainty for Europe after Brexit

MADRID,  (Reuters) – Spanish elections delivered a hung parliament for the second time in six months yesterday, adding to political uncertainty in Europe after last week’s shock Brexit vote and piling intense pressure on Spain’s warring politicians to form a government.

default placeholder

CIA weapons for Syrian rebels sold to arms black market -NYT

(Reuters) – Weapons shipped into Jordan for Syrian rebels by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia were stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market, the New York Times reported, citing American and Jordanian officials.

Jeremy Corbyn

EU vote triggers open conflict in Britain’s main parties

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Britain’s two main parties were in open conflict on Sunday after a vote to leave the EU triggered an attempted “coup” in the main opposition Labour Party and a bitter leadership contest in the ruling Conservatives.

default placeholder

Merkel sees no need to rush Britain into quick EU divorce

LONDON/BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought yesterday to temper pressure from Paris, Brussels and her own government to force Britain into negotiating a quick divorce from the EU, despite warnings that hesitation will let populism take hold.

default placeholder

UK’s Johnson wins backing from Gove for prime ministerial bid

LONDON (Reuters) – Boris Johnson, one of the leaders of the successful “Leave” campaign in Britain’s European Union membership referendum, has won the backing of a key colleague to replace David Cameron as prime minister, a newspaper reported.

A model presents a bulletproof clothing by the Miguel Caballero Factory at the Chico Museum in Bogota, Colombia, June 24, 2016. (Reuters/John Vizcaino)

Colombian designer makes fashion business bulletproof

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Miguel Caballero’s designs are not just chic, they could save your life. But his creations come at a price.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks after Britain voted to leave the European Union, outside Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain June 24, 2016. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

Cameron quits after Britain votes to leave EU

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Britain has voted to leave the European Union, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow since World War Two to the European project of forging greater unity.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: