Libyans protest against US air strike


Dozens of Libyans protested against a US air strike on suspected al Qaeda militants in the country’s south-western desert, saying civilians were targeted, witnesses said.

The US Africa Command (Africom) last week said it killed 11 al Qaeda militants near al Uwaynat in its third strike since March on the militant group’s North African branch – al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

The strike close to the Algerian border destroyed three vehicles Africom said in its statement, adding at the time, they assessed “no civilians were injured or killed”.

Members of the ethnic Tuareg tribe in the area staged a protest on Tuesday, calling on the Tripoli-based government to launch an investigation into the strike.

The protesters, among them women and children, held posters saying “Africom attacked civilians”, and “Africom is killing our sons”, witnesses and participants told Reuters.

Jihadists linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State sought refuge in Libya’s vast southern desert as the country struggles to restore stability seven years after the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi.