Saudis Nuclear Weapons Program Revealed

Saudis seek ‘Samson Option’ with Israeli, French aid

Saudi Arabia secretly seeks the “ultimate weapon” with the backing of Israel and France, writes <b>Gordon Duff.</b> Above, a mushroom cloud is seen following a nuclear test. (File photo)

Latest:  Saudi’s are estimated to possess enough fissionable material for more than 3 bombs, confirmed.  How many more?  US intelligence sources confirmed program in 2010 when doing surveillance into the secret Saudi/Israeli protocol which allows Israeli aircraft to not only fly over Saudi Arabia to attack Iran but to refuel and arm there as well.

A week ago, Israeli intelligence leaked stories to the media that Pakistan was to supply Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons.

That story was false.

Then we saw France break up the Geneva talks on Iran, actions clearly attributed to Saudi influence over French foreign policy, influence bought through massive arms and nuclear “energy” purchases.

Saudi Arabia is arming itself to the teeth.

They face no external threat, especially with their Israeli backing. However, after decades of political repression, Saudi Arabia is becoming aware that the only way they can defuse domestic discord is through extreme measures.

What could be more extreme than quickly moving forward with the secret nuclear weapons program that they have been involved in with the French and Israelis for years now.

Secret nuke nations

Japan has a large but “slightly disassembled” nuclear arsenal. We know where it is kept in the Amori Prefecture, hidden in a tank farm that has no pipelines or loading facilities.

Likewise, Brazil went “nuclear” in the 1980s and now possesses 20 nuclear weapons according to reports from Soviet and Russian nuclear security officer Dimitri Khalezov.

South Africa exploded its first nuclear weapon on September 22, 1979. It built a total of 10 nuclear weapons but later gave up its inventory. Three of those weapons disappeared with one eventually sold to North Korea and exploded in 2009, according to US and British sources.

Israel is, of course, a “not so secret” nuclear power. Their program was based on full French cooperation and the re-direction of weapons-grade plutonium from the United States due to espionage.

Now, Saudi Arabia is prepared to “go nuclear,” to be what they consider the only real Islamic power with nuclear weapons.

This is the plan of “Bandar Bush,” Saudi defense minister, former ambassador to the United States and close Bush family confidant.

In order to maintain domestic control, Saudi Arabia, working closely in concert with France and Israel, plans to beat “the drums of war” in the Persian Gulf for decades.

The new “axis of evil” was also to include Turkey, now a more reluctant participant, along with the Republic of Georgia, now a world leader in bio-warfare. Azerbaijan was also intended to take a strong role in what was to be a geopolitical realignment, which isn’t working as predicted.

Syria did not fall though Egypt was “taken out of the game” through a counter-revolution that reasserts the “30 family” oligarchy of the Mubarak period under the guise of military dictatorship.

Failure to “get” US divides

Many writers unfamiliar with the US fail to see the extreme divides in American politics. Those who regularly state “both sides are exactly the same” or who cite American drone attacks as an indication that Bush and Obama policies are the same are woefully misinformed.

The government shutdown over the Affordable Healthcare Act demonstrated a powerful divide along traditional party lines, perhaps the first time that has been seen since the 1990s.

You see, once Bush built the apparatus of dictatorship but failed to put his pet candidates into the presidency; however, the extremist minority still maintained control through stacking, not just the Supreme Court but the lower house of Congress as well.

Attempts to close Guantanamo were blocked. Attempts to dismember police state laws, to rescind emergency measures passed during Bush have been continually blocked because of bizarre and unconstitutional rule changes that have gutted presidential power.

Thus, when Obama apparently walks away from war on Syria and into new relationship with Iran, when Obama walks away from Iraq and does the same in Afghanistan, destroying billions of dollars of equipment as the US flies troops home, those who understand nothing of the strong class divides in America ignore what they see.

In Geneva last week, the world saw the United States take a lead in realigning polices of the Bush era.

While moving closer to Iran, President Obama fell under attack by American news, the Israel lobby, world organized crime and, strangely enough, armies of bloggers supposedly aligned with the “left,” those describing themselves as “anti-imperialists.”

What is more frightening is their failure to find the number four by adding two plus two.

It was Israel that fed the press and the “blogosphere” the story of Pakistan’s nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia. The story came out of Washington, out of Tel Aviv and out of India.

It was meant, not just to discredit Pakistan, a job Israel usually gives to Wikileaks, but it also was put “out there” to cover the Saudi Arabia “French Connection.”

If nothing is done, if no one speaks out, the Arabian Peninsula will go “nuclear.”

Saudi Arabia, a nation likely to face a horrific struggle against domestic Islamists, will have the “Samson Option,” the necessary tools to bring about Armageddon.

There will be no nation bombing the secret Saudi nuclear sites, no IAEA inspectors, no media stories, no TV shows depicting the Saudi rulers as monsters.

With no one to stop them, the Saudi’s see remaining a non-nuclear state as pure foolishness. They have nothing to lose and are clearly above the law, backed by France and Israel and several powerful lobbies within the United States.

Those who should have gotten this story, those who should have figured it out, those independent journalists not “on the payroll” or dead still spend day after day trying to pound a round peg into a square hole.

“What if the world changed and no one saw it, would it still matter?”

All I can say to this is, “Not to those who watch TV or get their news from the Internet.”

(Source / 15.11.2013)

Excerpt from article by Siraj Davis: Gaza Camp The Untold Story

Reports from residents indicate no warrants, verbal reasons, or evidence were presented at time of arrest as some were dragged from their families’ homes or picked up individually on the streets. There are also complaints that bystanders inquiring into these arrests were either arrested or beaten. Consternation arises from strong vocal grievances that though adolescents were solely involved in the malaise, the Jordanian law enforcement arrested adults as well. Such complaints appear legitimate as many testimonies and video evidence augments this claim, which brings into question as to whether the arrests were in fact indiscriminate or not.

On October 9, Wednesday, non-violent protests were held for the release of the detained. One protestor whose son was incarcerated announced that she discovered during a visit to her son that there were signs of torture which seemed as its aim was to provoke confessions.

A second protestor in close proximity to this mother immediately concurred with the former’s statement. Ahmad Amrah, a human rights activist, organized the event in a non-provocative and orderly manner.

He has also been leading the efforts to release the remaining five residents and dispelling the truth of what occurred at Gaza Camp. After the protest, parliamentary member Mohammed Hadeeb castigated another parliamentary constituent Taher Al Masri, over the incident.

Before EID, ten of the sixteen prisoners were released on bail, six remained incarcerated. Interviews with five of the ten released indicated torture in the form of hour long beatings, two continuous days of food and water deprivation with denial of bathroom privileges, and the administering of electrical shock.

One fourteen year old prisoner complained the police discharged a firearm near his feet to induce fear and anxiety. Another sixteen year old prisoner complained an officer took a shoe off his sole and began to slap him in the face many times, ending the malignant crescendo by shoving it into his mouth to near suffocation. This same teenager also stated he was beaten while seated with handcuffs on him. All of the formerly imprisoned maintain their innocence, that they were not asked any questions during the ordeal, and have also indicated that the remaining five in prison have worse injuries including broken teeth and bones.

On Monday, October 21, all but one of the prisoners were released. Allegations of broken teeth and bones were confirmed. All of the recently freed still face a court date in the future. In consideration of the aforementioned circumstances, the prisoners and others of Gaza Camp, are demanding financial compensation for damages, for current charges to be dropped, and a return of their dignity by the Jordanian government delineating the truth to the public behind the recent catastrophe in Gaza Camp.

(Source / 15.11.2013)

Protests greet pan-Muslim body in unrest-hit Myanmar

  • Protests greet pan-Muslim body in unrest-hit Myanmar
AFPProtests greet pan-Muslim body in unrest-hit Myanmar

Yangon (AFP) – Myanmar Buddhist monks led rallies against the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Friday as delegates from the Muslim body toured western Rakhine state, where religious violence has torn communities asunder.

The delegation from the world’s top Islamic body is in the country to discuss the response to several bouts of anti-Muslim violence that have left some 250 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.

But the group is treated with deep suspicion by Buddhists in Rakhine, where communities are now almost completely segregated on religious grounds after last year’s unrest, with Muslims making up the vast majority of the 140,000 people displaced.

“No OIC in Rakhine land, respect our sovereignty,” one protesting monk told AFP as hundreds of demonstrators converged on the airport in the state capital Sittwe early Friday.

The delegation met local officials inside the airport on Friday before visiting remote areas by helicopter, an official told AFP.

Myanmar remains tense after eruptions of religious unrest across the country that have cast a shadow over much-lauded reforms and caused concerns among the international community.

The OIC group, which includes the organisation’s chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, met the Myanmar vice president in the capital Naypyidaw on Thursday, accompanied by the ambassadors from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bangladesh and Malaysia.

They discussed the “peace and stability of Rakhine State and rehabilitation” in the region, according to the state-run New Light of Myanmar.

In Yangon on Friday rallies against the OIC were led by hundreds of maroon-clad Buddhist monks, a sight formerly associated with brutally-suppressed peaceful rallies for democracy in 2007 known as the Saffron Revolution.

“The OIC is discriminating in giving assistance here. We believe they help only Muslims,” said Rakhawuntha, a protesting monk.

The OIC visit comes soon after a United States, Swiss and British delegation visited Rakhine and concluded that the humanitarian situation there “remains dire”, over a year after the first outbreak of unrest.

In a statement released late Thursday, the group said that health services and access to education and livelihoods in some Muslim camps visited “were deeply inadequate to address even the most basic needs”.

Humanitarian workers have faced threats and harassment for trying to help Muslim camps.

The statement said inequality between Muslim and Buddhist Rakhine camps was “clearly evident”.

“The international community will never accept any interference with the delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance in any context, or violence against an entire people in the name of national identity or any other circumstance,” it said.

“Fear and insecurity are not a licence for abuse, aggression or injustice toward others,” the group added.

Radical monks have been accused of fuelling the violence with anti-Muslim rhetoric, while witnesses to violence in central Myanmar in March said some attackers were dressed in clerical robes.

That unrest in Meiktila left dozens of people dead, including students from a local Islamic school.

A recent eruption of violence in Thandwe in Rakhine, near the country’s most popular tourist beach, left six Muslims dead, including a 94-year-old woman.

Myanmar’s religious violence sparked with two rounds of unrest in Rakhine state in June and October 2012, with fighting largely between local Buddhists and the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Myanmar views its population of some 800,000 Rohingya as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and denies them citizenship.

They are considered by the United Nations to be one of the world’s most persecuted minorities.

Thousands of Rohingya have since fled Myanmar, many paying smugglers for passage on rickety and overcrowded boats to Malaysia or further south. Hundreds are believed to have perished at sea so far this year.

Earlier this month a boat carrying almost 70 Rohingya capsized off Myanmar’s coast leaving dozens missing.

(Source / 15.11.2013)


By Peter Clifford                   ©            (


The majority of the action in Syria in the last 48 hours continues to happen in Aleppo province and around Aleppo International Airport in particular.

Opposition brigades, having issued a “call to arms” earlier this week (scroll down – see below) to defend their gains in Aleppo, rallied in the last 2 days to take on Assad’s invading Army.

Another Assad Tank Goes Up in Flames

Having lost control of Base 80 just north of the airport, yesterday they regained ground by taking over 3 factories on the perimeter, including a plant oil processing plant.

As can be seen from videos, this put them within sight and attacking range of the adjacent Al-Nairab military airport, HERE:

A number of MIG jets can be seen parked near hangers, but they are probably not operational and kept for spare parts. However, in a later video, airfield staff are seen hastily taking a L-39 Trainer jet to a safer place, HERE: and firefighters are called in to put out a number of fires, HERE:

The most successful Opposition strike with Grad missilies and mortars possibly hit one of the aircraft on the ground but certainly, as seen from video sequences, hit fuel storage tanks, starting a major fire on Wednesday evening, HERE: and HERE:

However, a regime air strike on Thursday which struck a meeting of Opposition forces at an airbase they captured a year ago, has killed a senior commander of the Liwa Al-Tawhid Brigade, Yussef al-Abbas, their Intelligence Chief, and injured the brigade’s top commander, Abdelkader Saleh plus another senior commander, Abdelaziz Salameh.

The 2 wounded commanders have been moved to Turkey where they are said to be comfortable. After the attack Liwa al-Tawhid arrested 30 people suspected of being Government informers.

In separate incidents, 2 other leaders of Opposition battalions were killed in fighting near the airport and another commander was killed near Mahin in Homs province where fighters had removed vast stocks of regime munitions from Syrian Army buildings.

Despite these setbacks, it remains to be seen whether the Opposition can sustain their fightback and regain ground around Aleppo and whether Assad’s forces, who appear to have drawn on troops from Hama and Quneitra in the south for the Aleppo assault, can maintain their advance.

Added to Opposition problems is a reported incident (all on video) in which 2 members of the Jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) hold up the cut-off head of what they believe to be a pro-Assad Shiite fighter before a crowd of people in Aleppo.

Unfortunately it turns out the beheaded man was Mohammed Marroush, an experienced fighter with the Opposition group Ahrar al-Sham who had been wounded in fighting near Base 80 south-east of Aleppo.

He was taken to a hospital in Aleppo for treatment but in his drugged state was heard to say the names of Ali and Hussein, two revered Shiite imams. The 2 ISIL men decided he was a Shiite fighter and decapitated him. Both have been arrested and will appear before a Sharia court.

Fighter of Tawhid Brigade Fires Anti-Tank Missile in Aleppo

Fighter of Tawhid Brigade Fires Anti-Tank Missile in Aleppo

On the western side of Aleppo city, heavy clashes were reported yesterday and the Opposition were filmed using their notorious “hell-cannon” against the Research Centre, HERE:

There are also unconfirmed reports that Opposition fighters yesterday shot down a regime plane near Khanasser, the town which the Government recaptured a couple of weeks ago on the key strategic road between Hama and Aleppo.

Activists are also claiming that there is fierce fighting in the area and the Opposition have recaptured the village of Abeeda, not far from Khanasser, allowing them to once again to interrupt the route to Aleppo.


Pension giant TIAA-CREF drops Veolia from Social Choice fund

Activists in Los Angeles tell the city to “Dump Veolia” on 30 March, 2012.

The We Divest coalition yesterday announced a landmark victory in its campaign to persuade US pensions giant TIAA-CREF to divest from companies profiting from Israeli occupation.

As recently as July, TIAA-CREF held a $1.2 million stake in Veolia Environnement SA(VIE:EN Paris) through its Social Choice Funds portfolio. According to the firm’s most recent documentation, that investment is now zero.

Although TIAA-CREF still holds Veolia stock in other funds, the removal of Veolia from the Social Choice fund, which screens investments based on ethical criteria, is seen as a milestone due to the company’s deep involvement in sustaining the Israeli occupation.

“TIAA-CREF made the right decision,” said Rabbi Alissa Wise, Director of Campaigns atJewish Voice for Peace and National Coordinator of the We Divest Campaign. As quoted in a press release, Rabbi Wise elaborated that, “Veolia cannot seriously be considered socially responsible given its infamous anti-labor practices, privatization of public resources, disastrous environmental practices, and ongoing servicing of illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian West Bank land.”

The move by TIAA-CREF is the latest in a series of high-profile setbacks for Veolia. Under pressure from grassroots campaigns spanning four continents, the company has now lost or failed to secure contracts valued at over $18 billion.

We Divest’s press release highlighted the following:

Last month, a diverse coalition of environmental, labor, Palestinian rights, and social justice activists in St. Louis, Missouri forced the multinational to withdraw from bidding on a city water contract. In Boston, Massachusetts, a broad coalition of labor and community groups are fighting Veolia’s union-busting tactics since it took over a school bus contract. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Veolia is known for the role its attorney played in opposing BART unions, and others have been protesting against Veolia subcontractors’ poor labor practices. Additional campaigns in Sonoma County CA; Los Angeles, CA; Seattle, WACalifornia statewideBoston, MABaltimore, MDWashington, DC; and beyond have cast light on Veolia’s controversial practices.

The decision by TIAA-CREF, the largest fund of its kind, may inspire a ripple effect among other funds.

Erin McNally-Diaz of Corporate Accountability International stated that “TIAA-CREF’s decision to drop Veolia Environnement SA from its Social Choice Funds portfolio is a clear sign that the global water privateer’s abusive behavior in the US and around the world has created significant risk and liability for investors.

According to Lincoln Pain, a financial planner specializing in socially responsible investments for over 27 years, “Some of us in the socially responsible investment community are asking the question: does it make sense to own stock in a corporation that is violating international law in Palestine and committing so many environmental abuses around the world?”

It is clear that the campaigns are having an impact on Veolia. Its subsidiary Veolia Water North America faced strong, organized opposition from Palestinian rights, social justice and environmental groups, over the contract it signed with the city of St. Louis.

When Veolia pulled out of the deal, a city official revealed last month that the firm had concluded the contract was “not worth the damage to their business” due to the ongoing opposition.

(Source / 15.11.2013)

Gaza on the brink of a health catastrophe following the shut-down of power plant

Generater Medical Clinic

A generator used by a medical lab for power during the power cuts, Gaza City, October 2013

Medical Aid for Palestinians is calling for immediate action to enable Gaza’s power plant to resume its operations. The shut-down of the plant is having a serious impact on the ability of hospitals and primary healthcare clinics to provide essential services.

The power plant has been out of action for a week, due to a critical fuel shortage. Normally, Gaza needs more than 320 megawatts of electricity. With the closure of the plant, it has less than half the electricity it needs – with 120 megawatts coming from Israel and 27 megawatts from Egypt.

When the power plant was working at full capacity, Gaza’s population of 1.7 million people was subject to power outages for 8-10 hours per day. Since the power plant was shut down last Friday, Gaza has been experiencing outages for 12-18 hours per day.

Hospitals rely heavily on backup generators that are extremely dependent on the availability of fuel and spare parts and are very vulnerable to breakdowns. If the situation remains the same, they will need double the amount of diesel to operate electric generators (up from 250,000 litres per month to 500,000 litres per month), which will put the provision of health services in intensive care units, cardiac care units, nurseries and operation theatres under threat.

Electricity fluctuations also increase the risk of digital medical equipment and electric generators malfunctioning. Equipment, including a CT scanner, is already out of order at the European Hospital due to the electricity shortage.

The majority of generators in Gaza’s hospitals were not designed to work for up to 18 hours per day and the Ministry of Health expects to encounter difficulties in maintaining them, especially those requiring spare parts, due to the restrictions of Israel’s blockade.

The fuel crisis is making it difficult for ambulances to continue operating and hindering the ability of medical workers to get to health facilities. Its impact on other essential services such as sewage and water pumping stations also poses a public health risk.

“Gaza’s health facilities are already under enormous strain, due to Israel’s blockade. Now continued power cuts and blackouts are damaging hospital equipment and endangering patients’ lives,” says Aimee Shalan, MAP’s Director of Advocacy and Communications. “We are calling on the international community to intervene urgently to find a solution to this appalling situation, which is blighting the lives of the entire population of Gaza.”

(Source / 15.11.2013)

UN adopts new resolutions on Palestine


UN General Asssembly 4th CommitteeThe Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee) of the General Assembly of the United Nations has adopted eight new resolutions concerning the plight of the Palestinians. The drafts were taken on board with large majorities voting in favour.

The resolutions covered the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and an intention for the committee to investigate “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the Occupied Territory”.

Predictably, Israel voted against all of the resolutions, being joined variously by Cameroon, the United States, Canada, Australia and Panama. Equally predictable abstentions included Micronesia, Palau, Vanuatu and South Sudan.

The resolutions relating to UNRWA were backed consistently by more than 160 UN members states, whereas those committing the UN to look at the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory saw fewer in favour, just under 90 countries, with far more abstentions (70 or more).

The resolutions reflected the extremely difficult living, economic, social and humanitarian conditions faced by Palestinian refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the continued Israeli military aggression and siege. They emphasised the vital and important role of UNRWA and the tireless efforts of its staff in implementing its mandate until a just solution to the Palestinian refugee issue is achieved.

After the votes, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, expressed the appreciation and gratitude of the state to all the countries that voted in favour of the new resolutions. He thanked them in particular for their support for UNRWA, which should ensure that it can continue with its mandate to help Palestinian refugees. He noted that the General Assembly was reaffirming the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and the refugees’ right to return to their land.

The nations of the world called on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law, the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice concerning the apartheid wall and all UN resolutions. The application of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, was also reaffirmed.

Ambassador Mansour said that the international community must make a serious collective effort to put an end to the violations committed by Israel and ensure that it complies fully with all legal obligations in order that a just settlement is reached for the Palestinian issue.

(Source / 15.11.2013)

Israeli Soldiers Cut 100 Olive Trees In Yabod

Israeli soldiers invaded Yabod village, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and cut more than 100 olive trees that belong to the residents despite a pending petition filed by the owners with the Israeli Supreme Court.

Head of the Yabod Village Council Samer Abu Baker told the Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) that the cut trees are along the Jenin-Tulkarem road, near the illegal Israeli settlement of Mabo Dotan.

He added that the attack took place during late night hours, on Wednesday at night, and again earlier on Thursday morning.

“Just like thieves, they arrived quickly and cut the trees”, Abu Baker said, “They wanted to commit their crimes before their Supreme Court even renders its decision”.

The Israeli Military “justified” it assault by citing “security considerations”, similar to its first attack against the orchards in the area in 2002, WAFA added.

(Source / 15.11.2013)

Ottoman Tughra Calligraphy

Throughout Islamic history, Arabic calligraphy has always been one of the most important and valued forms of art. Unlike Christian Europe, where portraits and paintings were the main form of artistic impression throughout the Renaissance and early modern period, Islamic history is full of more abstract forms of art, architecture, and calligraphy. One of the most elaborate and intricate forms of calligraphy was the tughra, a design used mostly by Ottoman sultans as their signature and seal.

Tughra Origins and Form

The tughra of Sultan Mahmud II, with color coding showing the numerous aspects of a tughra.

The tughra of Sultan Mahmud II, with color coding showing the numerous aspects of a tughra.

The first known tughra of an Ottoman sultan is attributed to Orhan, the second Ottoman ruler, who ruled from 1326 to 1362. The original tughras were meant to show the official character of the Ottoman state and sultan, as well as serve as his official signature and seal. Thus, the tughra was intentionally made difficult to read and copy, to prevent forgeries and ensure the authority of the sultan. The earliest tughras were written to seal official letters, declarations and coins.

A tughra was meant to have a very specific style and form. There are numerous theories about how this form came about. Some speculate that the earliest illiterate Turkish leaders would dip their thumbs and first three fingers into ink and stamp papers with their handprints, and the tughra is meant to replicate that general form. Others speculate that the three tall lines in a tughra symbolize the three continents that the Ottomans controlled land in (Europe, Asia, and Africa).

The visual elements of a tughra

The visual elements of a tughra

Whatever the reasons for its form, the tughra form was very specific and had rules that could not be broken. The most noticeable part of the tughra is the beyze, Turkish for egg. It is the large oval shape that juts out to the left. It has an inner and outer egg, which are usually highly stylized letters that are part of the sultan’s name. These letters would form a large loop, come back towards the right and end in two curved lines that go off the right end of the tughra. These two eggs were meant to symbolize the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, which the Ottomans controlled at their peak.  Through these curves run three straight vertical lines, usually being part of the letters alif (ا) or laam (ل) in the sultan’s name. Coming down from these lines are wavy curves that do not necessarily represent any letters. Instead, they supposedly represent the movement of the Ottomans (and Turks in general) from East to West. At the bottom of the tughra is its base, where most of the writing is. Here, in a very small and cramped area, would the sultan’s name be written, along with the name of his father, and numerous honorifics and prayers to God asking for the sultan’s victory and success.

Notable Tughras

Below is a gallery of some of the more notable tughras from Ottoman history.

Libyan militias kill six protesters in Tripoli

Residents of Tripoli frequently demonstrate against the militias, who have rejected calls from a weak central government to leave the capital.
A Libyan militia group fired on Friday at protesters wanting them to move out of their headquarters in southern Tripoli, killing at six three and wounding more than 60 others, 15 of them in critical condition, the Libyan state television reported.

The militias are holdovers from the 2011 uprising that ousted Muammar Qaddafi and now a powerful force in the increasingly lawless North African country.

Sadat al-Badri, president of the Tripoli local council, or town hall, who had called for the protest, told AFP the shots fired at the hundreds of demonstrators came from inside the headquarters.

“Tensions are on the rise in Tripoli. We’re going to announce a general strike and launch a civil disobedience campaign until these militias leave,” he said.

At the weekly Muslim prayers held hours earlier, imams in their sermons backed the call to protest against militias issued by the town hall as well as Libya’s mufti, the highest religious authority.

Hundreds of people carrying white flags in a sign of peace, as well as the national flag, and singing the national anthem had assembled in the capital’s Meliana Square.

They then marched to the Misrata militia headquarters in the Gharghour district to press their demands when gunmen inside fired into the air to scare them off.

When the crowd continued to approach the building, the gunmen started firing at them, said an AFP correspondent who saw two wounded, including one hit in the stomach.

A leader of the militia from Misrata, east of the capital, told private television channel al-Naba that the demonstrators had opened fire first.

The march was sparked by violence on Nov. 7 in which the Misrata militia also played a central role, illustrating again the instability of Libya.

One of the group’s leaders, Nuri Friwan, had been fatally wounded in fighting at a checkpoint manned by other ex-rebels, and two people were killed in subsequent fighting.

One Western diplomat said the situation was becoming “increasingly critical,” and the British, French, Italian and U.S. embassies issued a joint statement calling for Libyans to “put aside their differences.”

Residents of Tripoli frequently demonstrate against the militias, who have rejected calls from a weak central government to leave the capital.

Just weeks ago, armed men seized Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and held him for several hours before releasing him.

The head of an interior ministry anti-crime unit later boasted that he was behind the “arrest” and that he was “proud” of it.

(Source / 15.11.2013)