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Libyan Mayor Arrested for Fatal Flooding

The mayor of Derna, a Libyan city devastated by severe flooding, has been arrested in connection with the disaster, alongside several other officials who are facing charges related to the tragic event that claimed thousands of lives in eastern Libya earlier this month.

Abdulmenam al-Ghaithi, the mayor of Derna, was taken into custody as part of an investigation into the flooding disaster. Last week, angry residents of Derna expressed their frustration by setting fire to the mayor’s residence during protests.

The attorney general’s office, based in the capital city of Tripoli, announced on Monday that the officials facing charges were responsible for the management of the country’s dam facilities. As a result, a criminal case has been initiated against them. Some of these officials, including Mayor al-Ghaithi, were already in detention pending trial.

In a statement, the attorney general’s office accused these officials of various failures, including mismanagement of funds intended for dam maintenance, negligence in taking preventive measures, resulting in flood-related deaths, and causing economic losses for Libya. Mayor al-Ghaithi is additionally accused of abusing his authority.

Libya is currently divided into two rival administrations, one in the east and one in the west. As the attorney general operates from Tripoli in the west, there may be questions regarding the extent of their authority to order arrests in the eastern part of the country.

The eastern government reported that the confirmed death toll from the floods had reached 3,868 as of Sunday. The attorney general’s office indicated that investigations into other officials were ongoing, and further arrests might occur as the probe progresses.

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