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Libya starts restoring mains water cut by sabotage threat

Mains water is to be restored to western Libya after a week-long cut prompted by sabotage threats from loyalists of a jailed Moamer Kadhafi-era official, the water authority said.

“The wells and pumps are being switched back on to gradually restore supply,” the authority said on its Facebook page Saturday. “The crisis is over.”

The announcement brought welcome relief to Libyans forced to cope without water as a summer heatwave gripped North Africa.

The water authority is responsible for a huge network of pipelines, dubbed the Great Man-Made River, which was one of the major projects of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi during his four decades in power.

It brings water from underground aquifers deep in the Sahara desert to settlements on the Mediterranean coast.

Last weekend, the water authority shut down the pipeline network in a bid to contain any damage, after loyalists of Kadhafi’s brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi threatened to sabotage it unless he was released.

Senussi was sentenced to death in 2015 for his role in the attempted suppression of the 2011 uprising that toppled Kadhafi.

He remains in prison in the capital, Tripoli.

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