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HRW denounces attacks on Sufi shrines in Libya
December 08, 2017
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TRIPOLI: Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday denounced a series of attacks against Sufi shrines in Libya by “extremist” militias.

“Sufi religious sites are under assault in Libya,” the New York-based rights watchdog said after two attacks in the capital Tripoli over the past two months.

It said unidentified assailants torched the Zawiyat Sheikha Radiya, a historic Sufi mosque in Tripoli, heavily damaging it on Nov.28.

Another attack on Oct.20 destroyed the Sidi Abu Gharara mosque, also in Tripoli, said HRW.

The report comes after suspected Islamic State group jihadists killed more than 300 people at a Sufi mosque in Egypt’s restive North Sinai late last month.

HRW said Sufi shrines have come under attack in Libya since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Muammar Qadhafi.

After the revolt the country descended into chaos with rival militias and administrations vying for power.

“Successive interim authorities since the 2011 uprising and across Libya have failed to protect Libya’s Sufi religious sites from attacks and destruction by extremist militias,” HRW’s Eric Goldstein said.

“The unpunished attacks on Sufi mosques are endangering one of Libya’s historic minority communities,” added Goldstein, a deputy Middle East and North African director.

HRW said armed groups in Libya “motivated by religious ideology, have attacked and destroyed dozens of Sufi religious sites” since 2011, and kidnapped and killed Sufi followers “with impunity.”

Mosques, shrines, tombs and libraries containing ancient scriptures have been destroyed.

Agence France-Presse

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