Weekly Security Update

Overview

Disruptions in the Oil and Gas sector continued this week but the raid by US Special Operations Forces on Saturday in Tripoli that led to the capture of Anas al-Libi, a key member of Al Qaida, took the headlines.  Al-Libi, who had a $5m bounty on his head, was captured outside his home in Tripoli having returned from morning prayers.  He was indicted by US authorities back in 2000 following the twin attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 for which he was believed to have played a major role.  The Libyan Prime Minister claims that he was not informed of the operation and has asked the US for an explanation.

17 Libyan soldiers were killed this week when gunmen attacked a security outpost near Bani Walid.  Finally, the campaign of targeted assassinations has yet again continued this week in Benghazi with a further 3 servicemen being killed.

Tripolitania (Western Libya)

In addition to the al-Libi capture this week the Russian Embassy was stormed by armed men on Wednesday in Tripoli over what appears to be revenge for the killing by a Russian woman of a Libyan Air Force pilot.  The armed men tore the Russian flag down and opened fire on parked cars and the Embassy building.  Russia has reacted by recalling its staff, who were evacuated to Tunisia before flying onwards to Moscow.

The 17 Libyan soldiers killed on Saturday were manning a security checkpoint between Bani Walid and Tarhouna when they came under heavy gunfire from armed men on foot and mounted in vehicles with heavy weapons.  The attack happened early in the morning and the attackers have yet to be identified.

Cyrenaica (Eastern Libya)

On Wednesday gunmen shot dead a Libyan marine colonel in Benghazi.  This was then followed on Saturday by the shooting at close range of a retired senior police officer again in Benghazi.  And finally, on Sunday a Libyan Air Force colonel was shot dead whilst driving to work at the Benina Air Base.  This campaign of assassinations in the east shows no signs of abating.

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