Africa Map

African Press Agency

African Press Agency Logo
   

 Home
 Culture/Media/IT
 News
 Environment/Natural Resources
 Events
 Religion/Civilisation
 Business/Finance
 Global Conflicts/Terrorism
 Features
 Sports
 Science & Tech
 Economic & Social Development
 Energy/Mining
 Country Profile
 Useful Links
 Contact us

Home

Libya/EgyptBack
[Published: Tuesday October 09 2018]

 East Libyan forces arrest major militant suspect wanted by Egypt

 
By Ayman al-Warfalli
 
BENGHAZI, Libya, 09 Oct. - (ANA)  - East Libyan forces on Monday captured a top suspected Egyptian militant long sought by Cairo on charges of orchestrating a deadly desert ambush on police last year and other high-profile attacks, the Libyan military said.
 
 
Hisham al-Ashmawy, a former Egyptian special forces officer, was apprehended in the city of Derna, on the coastal road about 265 km (165 miles) west of Libya’s border with Egypt, Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Ahmed Mismari said.
 
His capture is likely to deal a blow to Islamist militants who have been battling the LNA and carrying out attacks across the border into Egypt.
 
The LNA is the dominant force in Libya’s east. A separate U.N.-backed government rules in the county’s west, while multiple armed groups compete for power seven years after autocrat Muammar Gaddafi was toppled.
 
The LNA published a picture of Ashmawy with blood on his face, being examined before having bandages applied. It also posted a photo appearing to show his Egyptian military identity card.
 
He was arrested in Derna’s Al-Maghar neighbourhood “and was wearing an explosive vest but was unable to detonate it,” the LNA said.
 
It said he would probably be handed over to Egypt after Libyan security officials had completed an investigation.
 
 
EGYPT CONFIRMS
 
 
An Egyptian military source confirmed Ashmawy’s capture to Reuters, without giving further details.
 
Ashmawy has been convicted in absentia to death in Egypt for attacks in Egypt, including a 2014 raid in which 22 Egyptian military border guards were killed near the frontier with Libya.
 
The LNA declared that it had taken control of Derna in June from jihadists and other opponents, though sporadic fighting has continued.
 
Egypt has close relations with the LNA, which is led by Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, and has in the past launched air strikes over Derna, saying it was targeting jihadists linked to militant activity inside Egypt.
 
The LNA said the wife and children of a second senior alleged militant, Mohamed Rifae Soroor, named in Egyptian media as Omar Rifae Soroor, were also apprehended. Egyptian state media reported that Libyan forces killed Soroor in June.
 
Egyptian authorities say Ashmawy heads the Ansar al-Islam network, which claimed responsibility for an ambush against police in Egypt’s Western Desert one year ago.
 
Egyptian officials also accuse the network, which they link to al-Qaeda, of an assassination attempt on a former interior minister in 2013.
 
Egyptian security and intelligence sources say the group has mounted a recruiting campaign among former officers in recent years and is seen as more dangerous than militants operating in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.
 
Derna has a recent history of militancy, and was briefly controlled by Islamic State before the ultra-hardline group was pushed out by local rivals in 2015.
 
Before moving to Derna, Ashmawy was active with Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, an Egyptian militant group based in North Sinai, but after it pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014, he joined a different group loyal to al-Qaeda.
 
Militants launched an insurgency in Sinai after Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Mursi was overthrown in 2013, following protests against his rule.  - (ANA) -
 
AB/ANA/ 09 October 2018 - - -
 
 

North South News website

Advertise banner

News icon Myanmar/Rohingya
News icon WFP/Food prices
News icon Germany/Accomplice
News icon France/Floods
News icon Belgium/Mayor
News icon Tanzania/Billionaire
News icon UN/Saudi
News icon Russia/Defense system
News icon Burkina Faso/FGN
News icon Iran/Saudi

AFRICAN PRESS AGENCY Copyright © 2005 - 2007