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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #350 on: October 30, 2013, 10:07:29 AM »



http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/james-beattie/dhs-proposes-lifting-30-year-immigration-ban-libyans-working-us-aviation

DHS Proposes Lifting 30-Year Immigration Ban for Libyans Working in U.S. Aviation and Nuclear Fields
October 29, 2013 - 5:03 PM
By James Beattie


(CNSNews.com) – A draft regulation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would lift a 30-year-ban on Libyan nationals coming to the United States to work or train in “aviation maintenance, flight operations, or nuclear-related fields.”

The 11-page proposed rule was obtained by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

In a statement on his congressional website, Rep. Chaffetz said that the draft final regulation could take effect without prior notice and comment. The congressmen say the prohibition was put in place in the 1980s after the wave of terrorist incidents involving Libyans.

"The administration justifies lifting this ban by claiming that the United States’ relationship with Libya has been ‘normalized,’” the statement said.

But the congressmen also say, "the terror threat continues and numerous news reports document recent terror-related stories coming from Libya. And just over a year ago the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was attacked, which resulted in the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens."

benghazi

The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on fire in the early morning of Sept. 12, 2012. (AP)

A House Judiciary Committee source said the document is an “internal draft regulation” and is not final yet, and was obtained by Reps. Chaffetz and Goodlatte. It is not known yet when DHS, formerly headed by Secretary Janet Napolitano -- and now awaiting a new leader -- will officially issue the regulation.

The actual rule says the “United States and the Government of Libya have normalized their relationship and most of the restrictions and sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations toward Libya have been lifted. Therefore, DHS, after consultation with the Department of State and the Department of Defense, is rescinding the restrictions that deny nonimmigrant status and benefits to a specific group of Libyan nationals.”

Libyan nationals who want to come to America to study aviation or nuclear science would have to undergo the “Visas Mantis” security clearance, reads the regulation, and be subject to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security-threat assessments.

Chaffetz: ‘If President Obama Wants Gun Control He Should Start With the United States Park Police’

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). (AP)

Goodlatte, in a statement on Chaffetz’s website, said, “Just over a year ago, four Americans were killed in the pre-planned terrorist attacks on the American Consulate in Benghazi.  We still haven’t gotten to the bottom of the Benghazi terrorist attacks and continue to face additional terrorist threats from Libya, yet the Obama Administration is preparing to lift a longstanding ban that protects Americans and our interests.”

Chaffetz said, “It is unbelievable that this administration would again put Americans in harm’s way by lifting a decades old security ban on a country that has become a hotbed of terrorist activity. We must work with the Libyans to build mutual trust that ensures safety and prosperity for both countries to enjoy."

Judicial Watch, a government watchdog organization based in Washington, D.C., commented, “It’s incomprehensible that the U.S. government is even considering reversing the longstanding policy banning Libyans from working or training in areas so crucial to national security.”

Inquiries by telephone and e-mail from CNSNews.com to DHS for comment were not answered before this story was published.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #351 on: February 03, 2014, 07:33:45 PM »

NYT (POTH)

Libya’s Cache of Toxic Arms All Destroyed

By ERIC SCHMITTFEB. 2, 2014


WASHINGTON — Even as the international effort to destroy Syria’s vast chemical weapons stockpile lags behind schedule, a similar American-backed campaign carried out under a cloak of secrecy ended successfully last week in another strife-torn country, Libya.

The United States and Libya in the past three months have discreetly destroyed what both sides say were the last remnants of Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi’s lethal arsenal of chemical arms. They used a transportable oven technology to destroy hundreds of bombs and artillery rounds filled with deadly mustard agent, which American officials had feared could fall into the hands of terrorists. The effort also helped inspire the use of the technology in the much bigger disposal plan in Syria.
Related Coverage

    Syria’s foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, center, said Friday  in Geneva that he did not rule out returning for more negotiations.
    Syrian Talks, Ending First Round, Fail Even to Agree on Easing Aid BlockadeJAN. 31, 2014
    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, met with Polish defense minister Tomasz Siemoniak, left, on Thursday.
    Delay in Chemical Arms Pledge CriticizedJAN. 30, 2014

Since November, Libyan contractors trained in Germany and Sweden have worked in bulky hazmat suits at a tightly guarded site in a remote corner of the Libyan desert, 400 miles southeast of Tripoli, racing to destroy the weapons in a region where extremists linked to Al Qaeda are gaining greater influence. The last artillery shell was destroyed on Jan. 26, officials said.

As Libya’s weak central government grapples with turmoil and unrest, and as kidnappings and assassinations of military and police officers accelerate in the country’s east, American and international weapons specialists hailed the destruction of the Libyan stockpile as a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy security environment.

“It’s a big breakthrough,” said Paul F. Walker, an arms control expert with the environmental group Green Cross International who has helped in efforts to demilitarize the American and Russian chemical weapons stockpiles since the 1990s. “Even though Libya’s chemical stockpile was relatively small, the effort to destroy it was very difficult because of weather, geography and because it’s a dangerous area with warring tribes, increasing the risks of theft and diversion,” he said.

Libya’s last two tons of chemical weapons were dwarfed by the 1,300 tons that Syria has agreed to destroy. But American and international arms experts say the need for easily transportable and efficient technology to wipe out the Libyan arms became a model for the Syria program now underway.

For Libya’s fragile transitional government, such collaboration with the West on security matters is a delicate issue. It gives the country’s leaders desperately needed assistance to defuse internal threats, but also risks accusations of compromising national sovereignty.

Asked about the American efforts to destroy the chemical weapons, Libyan security officials in Tripoli initially issued sweeping denials. One later briefly acknowledged the operation on the condition of anonymity, and then officials stopped returning phone calls.

On Sunday, the White House said that it would ensure that the Syrian government complied with an accord to give up its chemical arsenal despite missed deadlines and delays in carrying out the deal.

The White House chief of staff, Denis McDonough, said on the CBS News program “Face the Nation” that the deal was “not falling apart, but we would like to see it proceed much more quickly than it is.”

The disposal of the last of Libya’s chemical weapons closes a chapter that Colonel Qaddafi began in early 2004, when his government turned over a vast cache of nuclear technology and chemical stockpiles to the United States, Britain and international nuclear inspectors.

At that time, Libya declared for destruction 24.7 metric tons of sulfur mustard, a syrupy liquid that when loaded into bombs or artillery shells and exploded creates a toxic mist that penetrates clothing, burns and blisters exposed skin, and can kill with large doses or if left untreated. The chemical was used extensively in World War I.


Libya had destroyed about half of these stocks when civil war broke out in 2011. Western spy agencies closely monitored the destruction site in the Libyan desert to ensure the stockpiles were not pilfered by insurgents.

When the new government took control in Tripoli that fall, it signaled its intent to finish the job. Libyan officials also surprised Western inspectors by announcing the discovery in November 2011 and February 2012 of two hidden caches of mustard, or nearly two tons, that had not been declared by Colonel Qaddafi’s government. That brought the total declared amount of chemical to 26.3 tons.

Unlike the majority of Libya’s mustard agents, which were stored in large, bulky containers, the new caches were already armed and loaded into 517 artillery shells, 45 plastic sleeves for rocket launchings and eight 500-pound bombs.

The new stockpiles immediately posed huge challenges for the fledgling Libyan government, which had no ability to destroy the combat-ready chemical weapons, as well as for its American and European allies called upon to help.

The disposal site is deep in the desert, in an area where Islamist militants hostile to the West wield growing influence. It also sits on the front line of the struggle between Libya’s eastern and western provinces over political power and oil revenue. A defining issue in post-Qaddafi politics, the regional rivalry has often spilled out into armed blockades of the national highways and crucial oil-export terminals as well.

Using $45 million from the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which has helped rid the former Soviet Union of thousands of nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War, the Pentagon and its Defense Threat Reduction Agency tapped the Parsons Corporation, a construction firm based in Pasadena, Calif., to work with Libya to oversee the rebuilding and safeguarding of the Libyan disposal site, which had been ransacked during the civil war.

Remarkably, the mustard agents stored in bulk containers at the site were untouched and their inspection seals unbroken, American and international officials said. These have all been destroyed, too.

Canada donated $6 million to help restore water, sewage service and electricity to the site, and to build living quarters for Western and Libyan contractors. Germany agreed to fly international inspectors to the site.

The project has relied on a custom-built device from Dynasafe, a Swedish company, to destroy the weapons. It is essentially a giant, high-tech oven called a static-detonation chamber. The munitions were fed through an automated loading system into a gas-tight chamber, where the toxic materials were vaporized at temperatures between 750 and 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Gases created in the process were scrubbed by special filters.

“The destruction of these munitions was a major undertaking in arduous, technically challenging circumstances,” Ahmet Uzumcu, the director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, whose inspectors supervised the destruction of the chemical weapons, said in a written statement.

Although American officials acknowledge that Libya is awash with conventional arms, they expressed confidence that the vast Libyan desert holds no other secret caches of unconventional arms for jihadis to exploit.

Andrew C. Weber, assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, said, “This is the culmination of a major international effort to eliminate weapons of mass destruction from Libya and to ensure that they never fall into the hands of terrorists.”
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G M
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« Reply #352 on: February 03, 2014, 09:56:12 PM »

Sure they did.…

 rolleyes
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #353 on: February 17, 2014, 06:51:09 AM »


Summary

Maj. Gen. Khalifa Haftar, a Gadhafi-era military commander who defected from the regime and attempted to aid the Libyan rebels during the 2011 uprisings, said Feb. 14 that Libya's beleaguered transitional political body should cede power because its mandate to rule ended Feb. 7. In his announcement on a Saudi-backed television channel, he ordered the General National Congress to step down in favor of fresh elections and claimed that Libyan army troops were in the streets of the capital. This statement was later proved false as local news stations went to the Congress and other government buildings in Tripoli and found lawmakers, including the prime minister and the president, working as usual.

Though Prime Minister Ali Zeidan referred to the episode as "laughable," this scenario underscores the often outwardly precarious situation facing Libya's political transition and its domestic stability now more than two years since the fall of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Libya is indeed plagued by a stalled political transition process and a proliferation of armed groups vying to influence the formation of an eventual permanent government. But unlike in Egypt or Algeria -- other countries in the region with a tradition of a strong military influence in domestic politics -- Libya's fledgling military lacks both the physical presence and the institutional legitimacy to either meaningfully challenge the government or to successfully stabilize the anemic authority of the central government by ruling in its stead.

Analysis

Though Haftar's call for a coup did not prove to be an immediate threat to the current Libyan government, the General National Congress does face an uphill battle for successfully holding constituent assembly elections and pushing the country toward a more permanent form of governance under the framework of a new constitution. The transitional process since the fall of Gadhafi has been beset with a number of difficulties: a proliferation of armed groups and militias that claim oversight over the government, weak control of national borders and Libya's vast desert territories and persistent concerns over the numbers of militants entering the country. These problems have led to fluctuating oil production and ongoing challenges to the central government's attempts to implement policies and hold municipal and national elections that would replace the myriad forms of local governance, tribal authorities and rising militia strongmen with democratic institutions.

In Egypt, the military grew into the most powerful state institution, imposing a top-down order to Egyptian governance. It become the ultimate arbiter of political disputes and the guarantor of the state's domestic and international obligations. With the 80 million people living in Egypt, Cairo faces the daunting task of governing the Middle East's largest population, the vast majority of whom are densely settled along the banks of the Nile River. In this situation, the Egyptian military has been well suited to rule, with its organizational capabilities, available manpower and relative popularity among the Egyptian people.
Libya's Population Density and Regions
Click to Enlarge

Gadhafi's Libya is markedly different. Its population is the smallest of the North African states at approximately 6.5 million. Spread primarily along the coast or in various smaller pockets within the Libyan desert, there is no unifying geographic feature to define Libyan society such as Egypt's Nile or the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria. Therefore, Libyan society has maintained its strong tribal identities and affiliations.

Rather than rule only through a crushing concentration of force wielded by a loyal army, Gadhafi maintained a delicate balancing act between Libya's opposing regions and local tribal competitions through his own patronage network that tied tribal networks into the regime. The People's Militia -- armed and loosely trained tribal networks -- also formed a significant number of the pre-revolutionary Libyan armed forces. Because Gadhafi took power through a military coup, as he grew older and increasingly paranoid he sought to limit the military's ability to concentrate force outside his control and thereby threaten his ability to rule the country.

Conversation: Libya's Deteriorating Security

In a bizarre twist of fate, post-Gadhafi Libya has in some instances seen the fruition of the previous dictator's supposed plans for the country -- specifically, the proliferation of local militias keeping in check the central government's ability to rule through force or unpopular decree. Though Gadhafi never intended for public opposition to rise up and depose him, or to effectively stall the government's ability to function, the rise of Libya's armed groups has underscored a startling truth for the General National Congress and Libya's foreign observers: the Libyan military is one of the most dysfunctional and poorly organized institutions within the Libyan state. Competitions for power within the Congress itself, a distrust of the lingering Gadhafi-era military leadership, a well-documented inability to delineate authority and a lack of clear communication have all hampered the military's ability to secure the country or push back against militia posturing.

The Libyan army suffered from large-scale defections and the loss of weapons, equipment and materiel following the 2011 revolution. The Libyan militias' refusal to disarm has created a scenario in which the military is no longer the strongest or most capable projector of force in the country. Local militia groups, such as those from Zintan or various pro-government militias of varying degrees of loyalty and dependability, support the national army in almost all of its operations in the country. Furthermore, there is still strong popular resistance to the formation of another strongman government rising in Tripoli, despite frustrations with the slow pace of change since the fall of Gadhafi.

Haftar's statement that the General National Congress should resign occurred against a backdrop of voices demanding that the General National Congress step down in favor of another governmental body ahead of the planned constitutional drafting process. Though Haftar's threats of a coup proved false, his sentiments correspond with those of many people in Libya who would like to see the General National Congress step aside and allow another group -- one that may be more amenable to the changes they would like to see in the constitution -- to come to power and oversee the drafting of Libya's constitution. However, Haftar is an interesting person to issue such a statement. A figure in Gadhafi's military structure, he defected nearly 20 years before Gadhafi fell, returning in Libya in 2011 to aid the rebellion. Haftar's role as a military commander during the rebellion was quickly ended over suspicions that he had ties to the CIA, and Haftar has lingered ever since with an unclear role in the current military structure and a poor record of military command or loyalty among troops.

The fact remains that Libya's army is demoralized, weak and out-armed by the various militias and armed groups that have risen to fill the void of the central government throughout Libyan territory. Even if a faction of the military could rise up and overthrow the current government, it would be unable to arbitrate between the various militias and political factions that would vie to replace the General National Congress. If it sought to hold power, the military would almost assuredly face the risk of another civil war as the country's tens of thousands of revolutionaries moved to prevent another unelected dictatorship in Tripoli.

Geographic realities also severely impede the army's reach. The army functions mostly as the country's largest militia, and it can reliably secure and protect only Tripoli and its immediate environs. The country's protracted stalemate, already often beset with violence, would further descend into chaos. For these reasons -- internal dysfunction, poor communication and a lack of institutional power -- a rise of the Libyan military similar to that in Algeria or Egypt is unlikely, and even if it were to happen, there is little chance that it would lead to greater stability.

As the country heads shakily into the next period of transition, stakeholders from the various elements of Libyan society will all seek to pressure the General National Congress, the constitutional commission and the eventual permanent government to make sure that their interests are safeguarded and guaranteed within the structure of the constitution. While the militias have weapons, fighters and a key method of pressuring the central state -- shutting off vital energy flows -- the military is less a agile or capable threat. In its inability to secure and support the wavering transitional government, Libya's military has already, albeit unintentionally, undermined the capabilities of Libya's civilian leadership.

Read more: In Libya, Poor Prospects for a Coup | Stratfor
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #354 on: March 07, 2014, 04:32:49 AM »


Niger Extradites Qaddafi’s Son to Face Charges in Tripoli   Niger has extradited
<http://link.foreignpolicy.com/525443c6c16bcfa46f732b5d1gv1y.1455/UxiFdOYQAzU136YRCe0ac>
Muammar al-Qaddafi's son Saadi Qaddafi. The Libyan government had been seeking the
extradition since 2011 when Saadi was granted entry
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ccp
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« Reply #355 on: March 11, 2014, 07:20:54 PM »

This was discussed today on Dick Morris radio (actually a really good show - he is really interesting).   But I thought Libya took responsibility for Lockerbee and admitted it?

 undecided

******Ex-Iranian intel officer says Iran, not Libya, behind Lockerbie attack   

Ex-Iranian intel officer says Iran, not Libya, behind Lockerbie attack

March. 11, 2014 at 4:17 PM   |   1 Comment

EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 11 (UPI) -- The 1988 Lockerbie jetliner bombing was payback for the U.S. Navy's downing of an Iranian airliner six months earlier, an ex-Iranian intelligence officer says.
Abolghassem Mesbahi says Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini ordered the attack on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 290 people died, to avenge the accidental shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf by the USS Vincennes and left 270 people dead, the Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

The London newspaper said previously unreleased evidence that was to have been used in an appeal hearing for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence officer convicted of the bombing, supports Mesbahi's contention. The Lockerbie bombing was carried out by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command, the newspaper said the evidence suggests.

The Telegraph said documents obtained by the Arab television network al-Jazeera for a documentary called "Lockerbie: What Really Happened?" names key individuals allegedly involved in the attack.

The Telegraph said the new evidence puts the conviction of al-Megrahi in question and supports allegations the truth about Lockerbie was covered up by Britain and the United States to avoid angering Syria, a key player in the Middle East

Al-Megrahi, the only man convicted in the Lockerbie attack, dropped his appeal after being released from prison in 2009 because he was suffering from cancer, though he maintained his innocence until his death in 2012.

Al-Megrahi's conviction was based on the prosecution's theory that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had personally ordered the Lockerbie attack in retaliation for the U.S. bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi in 1986, in which Gadhafi's daughter was killed.

But Mesbahi contends it was Iran, not Libya, that sought revenge.

"Iran decided to retaliate as soon as possible," Mesbahi, who had reported directly to Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and now lives under a witness protection program in Germany, told al-Jazeera. "The decision was made by the whole system in Iran and confirmed by Ayatollah Khomeini.

"The target of the Iranian decision-makers was to copy exactly what happened to the Iranian Airbus. Everything exactly the same, minimum 290 people dead."

The newspaper reported the U.S. State Department said it wanted all those responsible for the Lockerbie attack brought to justice, while Britain's Foreign Office said the case remains open because investigators believe al-Megrahi didn't act alone.

The Iranian government had no comment on the documentary's findings, but has previously denied any involvement in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.


Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/03/11/Ex-Iranian-intel-officer-says-Iran-not-Libya-behind-Lockerbie-attack/UPI-51221394569068/#ixzz2vheOEkoK*******
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #356 on: March 11, 2014, 07:28:58 PM »

Maybe as part of ongoing negotiations the Iranians are trying to look more dangerous by claiming it as their deed?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #357 on: March 12, 2014, 11:02:46 AM »

Libya's Prime Minister Dismissed After Tanker Escapes
________________________________________
 
Libya's parliament held a vote of confidence Tuesday to dismiss Prime Minister Ali Zeidan over the failure to prevent an oil tanker from exporting oil from the rebel-controlled Sidra port. Defense Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has been named as Libya's interim prime minister. Despite a travel ban against Zeidan, Malta's prime minister reported that Zeidan had arrived in Malta Tuesday en route to a European country. Libyan authorities seized a North Korea-flagged tanker Monday after it attempted to leave Sidra port, however the tanker escaped the naval blockade overnight. The tanker -- the first vessel to have loaded oil from a rebel-held port since the separatist revolt erupted in July 2013 -- is estimated to have taken on at least 234,000 barrels of crude oil from the rebels. On Monday the parliament ordered an operation to liberate all rebel-held oil terminals. Special forces are expected to deploy within one week. In related news, the U.N. Security Council's Libya sanctions committee reported this week that Libya had become "a primary source of illicit weapons," and that trafficking from Libya was fueling conflict and instability on several continents.

==============

The last point about arms trafficking is one we have been making here for quite some time-- including the notion that the US should have been scarfing these weapons (including MANPADs) up as part of our helping the overthrow of Kadaffy , , ,
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G M
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« Reply #358 on: March 12, 2014, 07:35:23 PM »

Is Lurch enroute with a reset button?


Libya's Prime Minister Dismissed After Tanker Escapes
________________________________________
 
Libya's parliament held a vote of confidence Tuesday to dismiss Prime Minister Ali Zeidan over the failure to prevent an oil tanker from exporting oil from the rebel-controlled Sidra port. Defense Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has been named as Libya's interim prime minister. Despite a travel ban against Zeidan, Malta's prime minister reported that Zeidan had arrived in Malta Tuesday en route to a European country. Libyan authorities seized a North Korea-flagged tanker Monday after it attempted to leave Sidra port, however the tanker escaped the naval blockade overnight. The tanker -- the first vessel to have loaded oil from a rebel-held port since the separatist revolt erupted in July 2013 -- is estimated to have taken on at least 234,000 barrels of crude oil from the rebels. On Monday the parliament ordered an operation to liberate all rebel-held oil terminals. Special forces are expected to deploy within one week. In related news, the U.N. Security Council's Libya sanctions committee reported this week that Libya had become "a primary source of illicit weapons," and that trafficking from Libya was fueling conflict and instability on several continents.

==============

The last point about arms trafficking is one we have been making here for quite some time-- including the notion that the US should have been scarfing these weapons (including MANPADs) up as part of our helping the overthrow of Kadaffy , , ,

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #359 on: March 17, 2014, 10:36:39 AM »



U.S. Navy SEALs have seized a North Korean-flagged tanker loaded with oil from a rebel-held port in Libya. A separatist militia took control of the oil terminal in July 2013, demanding a greater share of the country's oil wealth. The tanker, the Morning Glory, evaded a naval blockade at the eastern port of Sidra last week, embarrassing the government and spurring the dismal of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. North Korea disavowed the ship, saying it did not provide authorization. According to the Pentagon, U.S. forces boarded the Morning Glory before dawn Monday in international waters off Cyprus, and took control of the tanker, at the request of the Libyan and Cypriot governments. The move may prevent further attempts by the rebels to sell oil on the black market. Meanwhile, a car bomb hit outside a military base in the eastern city of Benghazi killing at least five soldiers and wounding another 14 people.
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