World Bulletin/News Desk
Libyan journalists working for the Al Jazeera news network's bureau said they would suspend work with the network until an investigation was launched into a leaked recording involving a former bureau chief.
In a statement, the journalists said that the voice that is heard in a recorded phone conversation belongs to former Al Jazeera bureau chief Abdel-Azeem Mohamed.
In the recording, Mohamed, an Iraqi journalist, allegedly speaks with two Libyan lawmakers, with the latter asking for weapons from Qatar with which local militias might resist renegade general Khalifa Haftar.
Mohamed, however, says the recording is fabricated.
The Qatari-owned television network also challenged the authenticity of the recording, which it likewise slammed as "fabricated."
However, protesters – angered by the recording – stormed and closed down the network's Benghazi bureau, accusing the three individuals who purportedly took part in the conversation of "conspiring" against Libya.
In a statement, local reporters denounced what they described as "damaging Libya's sovereignty."
Last month, Haftar declared war on armed Benghazi-based militias, saying his campaign – dubbed "Operation Dignity" – was aimed at "purging" Libya of "extremists."
The government, for its part, describes the general's campaign as an attempted coup against constitutional legitimacy.
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