December 8 2022 7:02 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Swathes of Libya without water after sabotage threats

3 libya
Members of the Libyan special forces demonstrate their skills at a training camp east of the capital Tripoli, on August 15, 2021 during a visit of members of the country's presidential council. The country on Saturday and Sunday was forced to shut water supplies after gunmen stormed several centers. (Photo: AFP)
TRIPOLI — Libyan authorities have shut water supplies to swathes of the country after gunmen demanding the release of a jailed Gadafi-era official threatened to sabotage the water network.اضافة اعلان

Supplies to western and southwestern Libya were interrupted overnight Saturday to Sunday, the Great Man-Made River water authority said.

It took the decision to cut the supply after gunmen Thursday stormed several water distribution centers demanding the release of Abdullah Al-Senussi.

A brother-in-law of Libya’s former dictator, Senussi was sentenced to death in 2015 over his alleged role in attempting to suppress the 2011 uprising that culminated in Gadafi's ouster and killing.

On Thursday, gunmen gave authorities 72 hours to release Senussi from detention in the capital Tripoli, the water authority said.

If their demands were not met they planned on attacking the network which brings water from underground wells in the Sahara to Tripoli.

A statement from the Great Man-Made River authority said it was preferable to cut the water supply than see it damaged in any potential attack.

Senussi was extradited in September 2012 by Mauritania, where he fled after Gadafi’s fall.

He was the subject of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for suspected war crimes during the 2011 uprising.

In 2013 the court gave Libyan authorities the green light to put him on trial.

Read more Regional