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Libyan charter panel elects liberal as head

Ali Tarhuni, a liberal politician and former rebel minister, was elected to head Libya's constituent assembly, a spokesman for the body charged with drawing up a new constitution said Tuesday. Tarhuni, an exiled opponent of dictator Moamer Kadhafi, returned to Libya to take part in the 2011 revolt which toppled his regime. He held a ministerial post in a transitional government set up by the rebels, and went on to found the National Centrist Party, part of the liberal National Forces Alliance.

Libya body charged with drawing up charter starts work

Libya's constituent assembly, which has been charged with drawing up a new constitution, launched its work Monday in Al-Baida, in the country's east where violence has been rife since the 2011 revolt. Dozens of officials, tribal chiefs and civil society representatives took part in the ceremony amid tightened security measures. The new constitution has been billed as a milestone in the North African country's transition from the 42-year dictatorship of Moamer Kadhafi, who was overthrown and killed in 2011.

Kidnapped Libyan guard at US embassy escaped captors

A Libyan security guard at the US embassy in Tripoli escaped her captors after being kidnapped and is in hospital recovering from injuries, the embassy said Tuesday. "She's free now. She was able to escape," embassy spokesman Joe Mellott told AFP. "She was wounded but her life isn't in danger," he said, adding that US Ambassador Deborah Jones had visited the woman in hospital. He declined to give further details on the incident but said it was not linked to the woman's work at the embassy. She was off duty at the time she was abducted, on Monday.

Libyan guard at US embassy missing, believed kidnapped

A female Libyan security guard at the US embassy in Tripoli, who disappeared after leaving work on Monday night, was "likely" kidnapped, the mission's spokesman said. While it was not immediately known if there was any connection with the woman's work, the news came after gunmen abducted Jordan's ambassador as he travelled to work in Tripoli Tuesday morning, shooting at his car and wounding his driver. "Local employed security guard likely abducted late last night," Joe Mellott said in a statement, without naming the employee. "She was off hours."

Gunmen kidnap Jordan envoy to Libya, wound driver

Gunmen travelling in two cars on Tuesday abducted the Jordanian ambassador to Tripoli, Fawaz Aitan, in an attack that left his driver wounded, the Libyan authorities said. It is the latest incident in which Libyan leaders and foreign diplomats have been targeted in the increasingly lawless North African country, three years after NATO-backed rebels ousted autocratic leader Moamer Kadhafi. "The Jordanian ambassador was kidnapped this morning. His convoy was attacked by a group of hooded men on board two civilian cars," ministry spokesman Said Lassoued told AFP.

Libya trial of Kadhafi son, aides adjourned

A Libyan court adjourned Monday until April 27 the trial of top figures from Moamer Kadhafi's regime, including heir apparent Seif al-Islam, for abuses committed during the 2011 uprising that toppled the dictator. The adjournment after some 40 minutes, was the second postponement since March 24, and came as a rights group voiced doubts over the possibility of a free trial. As was the case in March, the postponement was due to a number of defendants, notably Seif, being absent and is meant to give lawyers time to prepare their cases.

Libya starts trial of ex-Gaddafi officials, sons absent

By Julia Payne TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan prosecutors opened the trial of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi's sons and more than two dozen of his ex-officials on Monday in a major test for the North African state's transition to a democracy. Gaddafi's sons Saadi Gaddafi and Saif al-Islam did not appear in the courtroom at Tripoli's Al-Hadba prison, but the deposed ruler's ex-spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi was among the former senior officials sitting in blue jumpsuits behind a fenced-off section.

Libya starts trial of ex-Gaddafi officials, but sons absent

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan prosecutors on Monday began the trial of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi's sons and former regime officials in a major test for the North African state's transition to a democracy. Neither Saadi Gaddafi or Saif al-Islam were in the courtroom at Tripoli's Al-Hadba prison, but Gaddafi's ex-spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi was among the former officials sitting behind a fenced-off section before the judge, a Reuters reporter said.

Kadhafi sons due to stand trial in Libya

Top figures from ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi's regime, including two of his sons, are due to stand trial Monday over abuses committed during Libya's uprising which toppled him. The hearing is likely to be postponed for a second time, however, an official in the state prosecutor's office said Sunday. He said the court still had to decide whether some defendants being held outside Tripoli, where the trial is to take place, can appear via videolink.

Libya's Benghazi hit by strike over security problems

Libya's restive eastern city of Benghazi was hit by a day of "civil disobedience" on Sunday that saw some public buildings close and included disruption to air traffic. Civic groups late on Saturday urged the action to denounce security problems in the nation's second city more than three years after the onset of the revolution that ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi. They also demanded the suspension of the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC), the country's highest political authority, and the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections.
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