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Libya: 4 Wagner mercenaries killed in helicopter crash

Member of the Libyan Army in Tarhuna city on 5 June 2020 [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]
A member of the Libyan Army in Tarhuna city on 5 June 2020 [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]

The Libyan army announced yesterday that four mercenaries affiliated with the Russian Wagner Group were killed when a helicopter carrying ammunition crashed in the centre of the country.

This came in a statement issued by spokesman for the Sirte/Jafra Operations Room, Abdulhadi Darah.

Darah stated that "a helicopter carrying Russian mercenaries and ammunition fell in the town of Sokna, in the city of Jufra."

He added that "according to primary information, the explosion led to killing four Wagner mercenaries."

Darah explained that "the helicopter was heading towards one of the oil fields used by the mercenaries as an operations room."

READ: Is the battle to replace General Khalifa Haftar already on?

Renegade General Khalifa Haftar has been recruiting mercenaries from several countries, most notably the Wagner fighters, to carry out military operations that undermine stability in Libya, with the aim of controlling oil fields.

He launched an assault against Tripoli and the cities of western Libya on 4 April 2019, but was defeated by the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), which forced him to withdraw from the entire administrative borders of the capital.

Haftar resorted, under the pressure of the defeats, to declare a ceasefire in the country on 21 August, however his militias have been accused of violating it on numerous occasions.

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