Libya key power station hit – inside job

re posted from                      

Sat Jan 9, 2016 11:1PM
A pro-government Libyan soldier manning a checkpoint in the nation's second largest city of Benghazi (file photo)
A pro-government Libyan soldier manning a checkpoint in the nation’s second largest city of Benghazi (file photo)

A major power station in Libya’s second largest city has come under artillery attacks by unidentified “terrorists,” threatening widespread power cuts in east of the country, officials said.

The facility, which provides electricity to much of Libya’s government-controlled eastern portion, was struck by artillery fire twice on Saturday after an earlier shelling Friday evening, AFP reported citing a security official and a local engineer at the power station in Benghazi.

According to the engineer, Mussa Suleimani, the attacks knocked out five of the six transformers at the facility and would likely extend power cuts, which has plagued the key eastern city, across the region in the east.

This is while Captain Adnan al-Baba, the spokesman for anti-terrorism squad of Libya’s internationally-recognized government, blamed “terrorists” for the shelling saying, “Howitzers were used in the attacks.”

He further suggested the attack was an inside job insisting that for such guns to strike the target with precision “someone on the inside must supply the terrorists” with specific coordinates otherwise “it is impossible to target the power station.”

Suleimani added, “It is the fifth time in two months that the power station… has been hit.”

Consequently, he noted, outages of up to eight hours were to be expected in the area between Benghazi and the town of Musaed, nearly 500 kilometers farther east close to the Egyptian border.

“Specialised foreign firms will be needed to repair the transformers that have been damaged, but that will be difficult because of the bad security situation,” the Libyan engineer explained.

File photo of fighters from the Tripoli-based Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia fire shells from a tank during clashes with forces loyal to Libya’s internationally-recognized government. (AFP photo)

The Libyan capital of Tripoli is currently controlled by a political faction, known as Libya Dawn, allied with powerful armed forces based in the city of Misrata. The faction has reinstated the old parliament, referred to as the General National Congress (GNC), in Tripoli.

The internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, on the other hand, is based in the eastern city of Bayda, with its elected House of Representatives in Tobruk.

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