Military heats up battle in Libya as Islamic State militants seek refuge


The U.S. military is ramping up operations and bombing raids against the Islamic State in Libya, where the terrorist group’s fighters have increasingly found refuge as their territorial base shrinks in Syria and Iraq.

U.S.-backed militias largely crushed the Islamic State’s Libya operation in late 2015, but signs that the group is gaining a new foothold in the North African nation began emerging last month. Images of Islamic State fighters moving through the vast deserts around their former stronghold in Libya’s northern coastal city of Sirte circulated through the terrorist group’s social media and online propaganda sites in mid-September.

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Armed faction takes over protection of Libyan oil and gas complex, fresh concern over migrants

Ahmed Elumami

SABRATHA, Libya (Reuters) – An armed alliance involved in a three-week battle over the Libyan smuggling hub of Sabratha said on Saturday it had taken over protection of the Mellitah oil and gas terminal after expelling a rival group.

An organization called the Operations Room and its allies have been fighting the Anas al-Dabbashi brigade, a major facilitator of migrant smuggling that recently said it had changed tack and struck a deal with the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli to stop boats setting off across the Mediterranean.

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Militants attack checkpoint in Somalia’s Puntland, seven dead

Abdiqani Hassan

BOSASO, Somalia (Reuters) – Islamist al Shabaab militants attacked a checkpoint in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region, killing at least seven people in the early hours of Monday, police said.

The fighters then ambushed officers rushing in to help colleagues on the outskirts of the city of Bosaso, an officer at the scene told Reuters.

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Salameh Shows Optimism about Solving Libya Crisis after Meeting Haftar

Khalid Mahmoud

Cairo- The United Nations special envoy to Libya Ghassan Salameh met on Thursday with Commander of Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar in the eastern city of Benghazi.

On its official Facebook page, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) confirmed Salameh’s meeting with Haftar, who is affiliated with Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament.

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Philippines: 3 Abu Sayyaf terrorists surrender in south

Efforts continue to rescue hostages, contain bandits in Sulu

By Hader Glang


Three Daesh-linked militants have surrendered to government troops in the southern province of Sulu, where over a dozen hostages remain in captivity.

The surrender of the Abu Sayyaf terrorists was announced late Tuesday by Army Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu.

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Libya Oil Output Set to Recover Following Sharara Brief Halt

By Salma El Wardany and Saleh Sarrar

Libya’s oil production is set to recover from a five-month low as the North African supplier’s biggest field restarts following a brief halt.

The OPEC member’s output is expected to rise to 1 million barrels a day from 800,000 within 2-3 days as the Sharara oil field restarts Tuesday, National Oil Corp. Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said Monday in a televised interview on Libya TV. The field produced about 234,000 barrels a day before guards that were assigned to secure the field forced workers to halt production Sunday. Sanalla said he gave instructions to resume operations at the field after talks with tribesmen and some other guards to resolve the issue.

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Yemen war: UN agrees to send war crime experts

The UN has agreed to send war crimes investigators to Yemen to examine alleged violations committed by all parties to country’s civil war.

The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to set up a group of “eminent” experts.

It was a compromise between Western powers and a group of Arab states that included Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi-led coalition is backing Yemeni pro-government forces in a conflict with the rebel Houthi movement.

More than 8,530 people, 60% of them civilians, have been killed and 48,800 injured in air strikes and fighting on the ground since March 2015, according to the UN.

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Libya: Rival Governments, Armed Militias Threaten Stability

The U.N. Human Rights Office warns rival governments and armed militias in Libya are in violation of international humanitarian and human rights laws and their abusive actions threaten the stability of the country. The U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva is reviewing a report on the situation.

The report makes for grim reading. Six years after former Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi was toppled, it finds armed groups including the internationally recognized Government of National Accord and the opposition Libyan National Army and its allies are creating havoc in the country.

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Somalia: Al-Shabab launches deadly attack on army base

Suicide car bombers, gunmen strike Barire military outpost outside Mogadishu in a brazen assault by the armed group.

Al-Shabab fighters in Somalia attacked a military base outside the capital Mogadishu with car bombs and gunfire on Friday, killing at least eight soldiers before looting the outpost.

“There was heavy fighting this morning,” said Mohamed Haji Ali, a Somali military commander, confirming the attack to local media without providing details of casualties.

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