Libya jihadists vow to defend Benghazi bastion

2014-05-20 15:18

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - Libyan jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Washington, vowed on Tuesday to defend its stronghold in second city Benghazi against an expanding alliance of opposing forces.

The group charged that a deadly assault in the eastern city on Friday which mainly targeted its forces was "a war against... Islam orchestrated by the United States and its Arab allies".

Forces loyal to former rebel commander Khalifa Haftar pulled out of Benghazi after the attack which left at least 79 people dead.

But he has vowed to re-enter Benghazi to cleanse it of "terrorists" and on Monday won the support of special forces in the city which stayed out of last week's fighting but have suffered mounting losses to suspected jihadist attacks in recent weeks.

"A confrontation is now inevitable to defend our city and our land," Ansar al-Sharia said in its statement.

"We will act with force against anyone who enters the city or attacks it, just as was done to the forces sent by Gaddafi," it added.

The last was a reference to the routing of the forces sent to Benghazi by now slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi in March 2011 in an abortive attempt to crush the uprising that erupted in the city that month.

Feuding former rebel militia

Ansar al-Sharia acknowledged mounting public support in Benghazi for a strong hand to bring to heel the feuding former rebel militias that have carved out fiefdoms across the city since the Nato-backed uprising.

But it said this should be done "under the banner of sharia [Islamic law], not under the banner of secularism and democracy."

Ansar al-Sharia has always rejected accusations that its militants were behind a September 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that left ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.

But in January the US State Department put both the Benghazi group and an sister organisation in the eastern city of Derna on its terror blacklist saying both had taken part in the attack.

Haftar, a former Gaddafi-era general who lived in exile in the United States for more than two decades before returning during the uprising, has long drawn accusations of being linked to the US Central Intelligence Agency, first from the Gaddafi regime, and then from rival rebel commanders.
Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  khalifa haftar  |  libya  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.