ليبيا – الولايات المتحدةبحث
أعلنت وزارة الدفاع الأميركية “البنتاغون” إرسال قوات عسكرية إلى صقلية للتدخل إذا ما تعرضت بعثتها الدبلوماسية في ليبيا للتهديد، وذلك بعد أشهر من الهجوم على القنصلية الأميركية في بنغازي. وقال المتحدث باسم وزارة الدفاع الأميركية “جورج ليتل” في تصريحات صحفية نحن مستعدون للتدخل إذا تدهور الوضع أو إذا طلب منا ذلك”. وأضاف المتحدث الأمريكي أن هؤلاء العناصر العسكريين الذين سيتولون على الأرجح تأمين سلامة المقار الدبلوماسية أو إجلاء الدبلوماسيين الأميركيين، متمركزون في قاعدة سيغونيلا للحلف الأطلسي في صقلية. ولم يقدم مزيدا من الإيضاحات. وكانت وزارة الدفاع الأميركية قد تعرضت لانتقادات حادة في الأشهر الأخيرة بسبب عجزها عن إرسال قوة تدخل في الوقت المناسب للتصدي لهجوم على القنصلية في بنغازي أسفر عن أربعة قتلى منهم السفير في سبتمبر الماضي.
Women and children among dead at al-Jala hospital in eastern Libyan city after bomb goes off in car park
- Chris Stephen in Tripoli
- guardian.co.uk, Monday 13 May 2013 15.37 BST
A car bomb has exploded at one of the largest hospitals in Benghazi, killing 12 people and wounding 30.
The bomb devastated wards and left cars burning outside the al-Jala hospital – one of Benghazi’s two main hospitals, in the centre of the eastern Libyan city.
A witness said the bomb exploded in the car park, near patients and visitors entering the main gate of the hospital.
“The bomb was between the hospital and a house, some houses,” the witness said. “It was a mess, it is finished [destroyed]. There are 12 dead, some of them women and children, there are a lot of people who have wounds. About 10 cars were broken.”
He said he did not know who was responsible for the bomb, saying the hospital was guarded by the national army.
The blast came after a weekend on which four police stations were bombed. Benghazi is home to several Islamist militias and was where US ambassador Chris Stevens was killed during an attack on the US consulate.
The al-Jala hospital was until recently guarded by the Ansar al-Sahria Islamic militia, blamed by some for the consulate attack, and has been the scene of sporadic standoffs between government and militia forces in recent months.
The hospital bombing comes amid heightened tensions in Libya. Tripoli’s foreign and justice ministries were blockaded for two weeks by militias demanding the removal of the prime minister, Ali Zaidan, and his replacement by a “revolutionary”.
The justice minister, Salah Marghani, described the blockades, which were broken by unarmed protesters on Friday night, as an attempted coup, saying “the past couple of weeks were very frightening”.
Militia violence has centred on Libya’s new isolation law, which bans senior officials from the Muammar Gaddafi era from holding senior posts in police, government, politics and the judiciary.
The fear of further violence has led to the British and US embassies withdrawing some staff, the European Union closing its mission in Tripoli and BP announcing it was pulling out non-essential staff.
Qatar announced over the weekend it was not interfering in Libyan politics after its flag was burned by anti-Islamist protesters in Benghazi.
Zaidan has so far refused to step down, appealing to Libyan people to support the country’s fledgling democracy and promising government forces will be used to clear militias from Benghazi.
Benghazi has been a centre of jihadist violence for more than a year, with attacks on the British, Italian and Tunisian consulates and the burning of an Egyptian coptic church.