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.

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.


Libyan authorities say 'coup' bid in Benghazi

18 May 2014, 09:13

Tripoli - Libya's interim authorities on Saturday denounced an offensive launched by a rogue general in the restive eastern city of Benghazi against Islamists as a "coup" bid, a statement said.

The offensive by Khalifa Haftar against those he describes as "terrorists" is considered "an action outside state legitimacy and a coup d'etat", the army, government and parliament said in a joint statement.

"All those who took part in this coup bid will be prosecuted," said Nuri Abu Sahmein, the head of the General National Congress, interim parliament, reading from the joint statement on state television.

Interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani, who has branded Haftar's forces as "outlaws", and armed forces chief of staff Abdessalam Jadallah al-Salihin, who has denied any army involvement in the Benghazi clashes, were shown on television standing next to Sahmein.

Khalifa, a retired general, used air power to pound Islamist positions in Benghazi on Friday, in a campaign to purge Libya's second city of "terrorists" that led to clashes in which 37 people were killed.

Haftar, who defected from the army of Moamer Kadhafi in the late 1980s, led ground forces in the Nato-backed 2011 uprising that toppled and killed the veteran dictator.

He now heads a group calling itself the "National Army," which launched Friday's operation to flush "terrorists" out of Benghazi, according to his spokesman Mohammed al-Hijazi.

The army says that he is being supported by tribes, officers who defected from the army as well ex-rebels who are opposed to the central government.

Earlier this year Haftar announced, in a video posted on the Internet, an "initiative" under which the interim government and parliament would be suspended.

That video sparked rumours on social media that a coup might be in the offing.

But the government, which has come in for criticism for failing to defeat lawlessness in Libya, was quick to quash the rumours and insist it was in control.

Libya has been rocked by lawlessness since the 2011 uprising, and authorities have struggled to assert their control over the vast, mostly desert country, which is awash with heavy weapons and effectively ruled by a patchwork of former rebel militias.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...