Libya declares state of emergency over unrest in south

Libya`s General National Congress declared a state of emergency in the country today, an official said, after fresh clashes erupted in the south when gunmen group seized a military base.

AFP| Last Updated: Jan 19, 2014, 02:27 AM IST

Tripoli: Libya`s General National Congress declared a state of emergency in the country today, an official said, after fresh clashes erupted in the south when gunmen group seized a military base.

The GNC, Libya`s highest political authority, made the decision during an "extraordinary session" about the situation in the southern town of Sebha, where tribal clashes have been raging for several days, the official said.
Fighting flared up again on Saturday when gunmen took control of a military base near Sebha, after several days of relative quiet, the government said.
But in the evening, defence ministry spokesman Abderrazak al-Shebahi said the army had recaptured the Tamenhant base.

He said the army was tracking the attackers after they fled into the desert.
Government warplanes also launched raids "against certain targets", he added.
The spokesman also said the group was made up of supporters of dictator Moamer Gaddafi, who was ousted and killed by NATO-backed rebels in October 2011.

"We know them and we are going to track where they are going," he said.
Local sources also said that the group that took over the base was made up of supporters of the ousted regime, to take advantage of the fraught security in the area.

Fighting broke out in Sebha one week ago, pitting gunmen from the Arab Awled Sleiman tribe against tribesmen from the Toubou minority.
At least 30 people were killed in the fighting.

There has been a wave of rumours in recent days on social networks reporting parades by Kadhafi supporters in some town to the west of the capital Tripoli, notably Wershefana and Ajaylat.
Photographs have been posted on some websites, although it has not been possible to verify them.
Pro-Kadhafi television stations based outside of Libya have fuelled the speculation, and Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has warned against spreading the allegations, saying they were aimed at "provoking a crisis in the country".
Zeidan said that the situation was "under control" in Sebha and that he would be sending reinforcements into the city comprising ex-rebels.

Reports say Hollande partner leaves hospital
Paris: President Francois Hollande`s partner Valerie Trierweiler had left the hospital she had entered after revelations he had an affair, French media including her employer Paris Match reported Saturday.

Magazine Paris Match and others reported that Trierweiler had left the hospital in mid-afternoon and made her way to the La Lanterne official residence in Versailles to continue her recovery.

Trierweiler, 48, had entered the Pitie Salpetriere hospital last Friday after a gossip magazine reported that Hollande, 59, had been having an affair with 41-year-old actor Julie Gayet.
Trierweiler was described as suffering from nervous exhaustion and low blood pressure.
Hollande`s failure to visit her until Thursday evening fuelled speculation that he has decided to end the relationship with Trierweiler, for whom he left Segolene Royal, the mother of his four children, in 2005.
Paris Match on Friday reported that Trierweiler`s family had been "worried" about her after her 16-year-old son was unable to visit and she did not take calls.
Le Point, a high-brow news magazine, reported Friday that Trierweiler admitted herself to hospital after "taking one pill too many" in despair but ruled out a serious suicide attempt.
Hollande has said he will clarify the position of France`s de facto First Lady before a trip to Washington next month but has refused any further comment on a scandal that has generated global headlines.

On a visit to his political stronghold of Correze today, Hollande faced further calls to clear up the situation in his personal life.