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Libyan tribe asks Haftar to leave territory

One of the most important tribes in eastern Libya where renegade Khalifa Haftar is based has asked him to leave its territory, tribal sources said.

The request came following a Saturday meeting of Al-Awaqeer tribe chieftains in Abyar, near Benghazi, the sources told Anadolu Agency.

The tribe, which has a strong presence in Benghazi, Abyar, Benina and Rajmah in eastern Libya, told Haftar it does not want its areas to be a launch pad for attacks on Benghazi, they added.

The sources said Haftar has not yet responded to the request.

The renegade general has recently declared war on Benghazi-based militias, some of which were absorbed into the regular army following the ouster and killing of late Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

He says his campaign, dubbed "Operation Dignity," aims to purge Libya of extremists.

The government, for its part, has described Haftar's campaign as an attempted coup.

Recent clashes between Haftar's forces and armed militiamen have left scores dead in the flashpoint city.


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