East Libyan Forces launch series of air strikes in Jufra

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, May 22, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News
Comments Off on East Libyan Forces launch series of air strikes in Jufra

imgEast Libyan forces have targeted rival brigades with a series of air strikes in the southern region of Jufra, officials and witnesses said on Sunday, three days after dozens of their men were killed in a surprise attack on an air base.

The escalation risks reigniting warfare in Libya’s central desert regions, where forces aligned with the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) have skirmished since late last year with opponents aligned with a UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.

The two sides represent the main factions in a sporadic conflict between shifting alliances that have fought for power in Libya since 2014.

A resident in Jufra said LNA air strikes had caused casualties, though the number of dead and injured was unclear.

Details of Thursday’s attack on Brak Al-Shati air base, about 150 miles (240 km) south of Jufra, are still emerging. It was led by the 13th Brigade, which operates under the GNA’s defence minister. He was suspended on Friday pending an investigation.

The LNA says as many as 141 were killed, some of them summarily, and has pledged a forceful response. Medical and local officials said on Friday that at least 89 had died, but that the toll was incomplete.

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