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Libyan premier announces emergency government - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zaidan speaks during a press conference with Interior Minister following a rocket attack on a building located in a residential area on July 24, 2013 in Tripoli, Libya. AFP PHOTO MAHMUD TURKIA

Libyan prime minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a press conference with his interior minister following a rocket attack on a building located in a residential area on July 24, 2013, in Tripoli, Libya. (AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD TURKIA)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Libyan prime minister Ali Zeidan yesterday announced the formation of an emergency government amid an increase in violence in Libya.

In a news conference attended by the oil and health ministers, Zeidan said: “The Council of Ministers has decided to form a mini government which will include foreign, justice, interior and finance ministers, along with the prime minister and his deputy and a head of general intelligence. Other ministries will continue to work as normal.”

He added that “a government reshuffle involving a number of portfolios will be announced later.”

Zeidan said: “The emergency government will not take over the responsibilities of other ministries. It will enable the government to hold intensive meetings and give the ministries flexibility. The security and development dossiers are the main challenges for the government, and they must be the center of its focus.”

In response to a question about the defense minister’s position, Zeidan said: “The defense minister’s position remains vacant, and we are trying to settle on a name. I have met more than 36 military and civilians personalities, and unfortunately, they have all rejected the position.”

The defense minister’s position has been vacant since the ousting of former defense minister Mohamed Barghathi on June 27, following clashes between Zintan militias and government forces in Tripoli that resulted in 10 deaths. Prime Minister Zeidan is in temporary charge of the ministry.

In the meantime, a criminal court in Misrata, 130 miles (210 kilometers) east of Tripoli, has sentenced Ahmed Ibrahim—a former education minister in the Gaddafi era—to death by firing squad, in accordance with Libyan law. He was found guilty of murder and incitement to violence during the revolution in February 2011.

This is the second such sentence issued by the same court within a few days, after a member of the Gaddafi family, Mansour Daw Gaddafi, also received a death sentence.

Meanwhile, a former officer in the Libyan police force was injured on Tuesday when a bomb exploded under his car in Benghazi.

A security source speaking on the condition of anonymity told a German news agency’s correspondent in Tripoli that “unknown assailants planted a bomb under a car owned by police officer Ahmed Barnawi. The bomb exploded in the East Slaymani area in Benghazi, resulting in injuries to him and his three-year-old son. Both were taken to hospital.”

He added that “Barnawi was a member of the February 17 Revolution protection force, which was the first security force to be formed by the Transitional National Council after the start of the revolution .”

Last week, a number of explosions hit the city of Benghazi, resulting in 43 injuries according to the Ministry of Health. In addition, more than 1,000 prisoners escaped from the central prison in the city on Saturday.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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