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US: Russia's mercenaries planting explosives in Libya

Warnings of mines written on walls following Khalifa Haftar placed bombs in them in Tripoli, Libya on 15 June 2020 [Enes Canlı/Anadolu Agency]
Warnings of mines written on walls after Khalifa Haftar's forces planted bombs in them in Tripoli, Libya on 15 June 2020 [Enes Canlı/Anadolu Agency]

The US military command in Africa (AFRICOM) has accused a Russian company of ignoring the safety and security of civilians in Libya and planting mines and explosives in the capital, Tripoli.

AFRICOM announced yesterday that it has clear evidence that the Wagner company planted mines and explosives in and around Tripoli, adding that the company's mercenaries ignored the safety and security of civilians in Libya.

The statement said that AFRICOM has "clear evidence that the Wagner group, backed by the Russian government, is laying mines and explosives in and around Tripoli in violation of the United Nations arms embargo, which puts at risk the lives of innocent Libyans."

"Imagery and intelligence assessments show how Russia continues to interfere in Libyan affairs. Wagner Group's reckless use of landmines and booby traps are harming innocent civilians," said Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, AFRICOM's director of intelligence.

READ: TV footage of ovens used by Haftar to torture oppositionists

There was no immediate comment from Russia or the Wagner Group.

In early April 2019, renegade General Khalifa Haftar launched the "Flood of Dignity" campaign on regions in the west of the country, including the capital Tripoli. The move was widely condemned by the international community, who warned that it could plunge the country into active civil war once again.

He was supported by Egypt, the UAE and Russia.

His campaign came to an end a year later after the internationally-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), with the help of Turkey, ousted his militias from Tripoli and its surroundings and forced them to retreat.

UN: 'Haftar's mines killed 138 people in two months'

Libya: Never-ending chaos - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Libya: Never-ending chaos – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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