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Libya: 25 Haftar militia members killed in Tripoli

elled trees are seen after forces loyal to renegade commander Khalifa Haftar targeted al-Kerimiye neighborhood of southern Tripoli, Libya on 1 February 2020. [Burkan Al-Ghadab Operation Press Office / Handout - Anadolu Agency]
elled trees are seen after forces loyal to renegade commander Khalifa Haftar targeted al-Kerimiye neighborhood of southern Tripoli, Libya on 1 February 2020. [Burkan Al-Ghadab Operation Press Office / Handout - Anadolu Agency]

Forces of Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) neutralized 25 militia members loyal to renegade General Khalifa Haftar early Friday during clashes in the capital, Anadolu reports.

Tripoli-based Febrayer TV reported that troops taking part in the GNA’s Volcano of Rage Operation and the militias clashed in the Ain Zara region south of Tripoli.

The slain militia members were said to be mercenaries brought over from Sudan and Chad. Photos of their corpses were posted on social media.

“We stress again that we did not start this war. However, we will decide when and where this war will end,” GNA military spokesman Mohammed Qununu said in a press release.

READ: Why Egypt’s meddling in Libya’s affairs is worrying 

Noting that they had accepted a proposed ceasefire due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Qununu said Haftar’s militias violated it on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s rocket attacks killed three children and injured four others in Ain Zara.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

The GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 people killed in the violence.

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