Tripoli officials say clashes escalating over Libyan capital
CAIRO — Clashes between rival Libyan forces for control of Tripoli escalated on Wednesday as militias allied with the U.N.-supported government based in the country’s capital launched an offensive on a military base held by their rivals, officials said.
The fighting has been raging for nearly a year between military commander Khalifa Hifter’s forces, allied with a rival government based in eastern Libya, and an array of militia loosely linked to Tripoli authorities in the west.
Ossama Gowelii, who heads the so-called joint operation room of the Tripoli militias, said they attacked the al-Waitya airbase on the city’s southern reaches, clashing with Hifter’s forces who have been holding the base.
Gowelii claimed the militias took the base and arrested a “number” of Hifter’s fighters, including foreign mercenaries. He did not provide evidence.
However, their adversaries denied this, claiming they crushed the attack, describing it as a “foolish attempt.”
Judge orders review of Dakota Access pipeline
FARGO, N.D. — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a full environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline, nearly three years after it began carrying oil despite protests by people who gathered in North Dakota for more than a year.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote that the easement approval for the pipeline remains “highly controversial” under federal environmental law, and a more extensive review is necessary than the environmental assessment that was done.
Standing Rock Chairman Mike Faith called it a “significant legal win” and said it’s humbling that the protests continue to “inspire national conversations” about the environment.
“Perhaps in the wake of this court ruling the federal government will begin to catch on, too, starting by actually listening to us when we voice our concerns,” Faith said in a statement.
Boko Haram kills 92 soldiers in Chad
N’DJAMENA, Chad — Boko Haram extremists have killed at least 92 Chadian soldiers in the deadliest attack on the nation’s forces, Chad’s president said.
The attack took place overnight Sunday into Monday in the village of Boma in the Lac province near the border with Nigeria and Niger.
President Idriss Deby gave the toll on state television late Tuesday after visiting the site.
“Never in our history have we lost so many men at one time,” he said.
Boko Haram extremists have killed tens of thousands and forced millions from their homes during their more than decade-long insurgency. They have carried out numerous attacks in the Lake Chad region where Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Niger come together.
The Islamic extremist group also killed 50 Nigerian soldiers on Monday in a separate attack in Yobe state in Nigeria’s north.