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Libya: Anti-Daesh govt forces claim to retake Misurata

7th Oct 2017
Libya: Anti-Daesh govt forces claim to retake Misurata

By Walid Abdullah

 

TRIPOLI, Libya (AA): The Libyan government’s self-styled Anti-Daesh Operations Command Center said Friday that it had recaptured the northwestern city of Misurata after two weeks of fighting with the terrorist group.

“At dawn Friday, army forces affiliated with the Command Center established total control over Misurata and expelled all armed elements from the city,” Command Center spokesman Saleh al-Quraysia told Anadolu Agency.

According to al-Quraysia, the recent clashes in Misurata — which first erupted in mid-September — had left at least 19 people dead and scores more injured.

The Command Center was established last year by Libya’s UN-backed unity government based in capital Tripoli.

Al-Quraysia also denied reports that the Command Center shared links with Khalifa Haftar, a military commander loyal to Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament and a bitter rival of the Tripoli government.

“We [i.e., the Command Center] are answerable only to the unity government,” the spokesman asserted.

Libya has remained in a state of chaos since 2011, when a bloody uprising led to the ouster and death of longtime President Muammar Gaddafi.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government — one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli — each of which boasts its own military capacity.

In an effort to resolve the standoff, the rival governments signed a UN-backed agreement in late 2015 that called for the establishment of a unity government.

[Photo:  Special representative of the UN Secretary General for Libya, Ghassan Salame holds a press conference after The High Council of State of Libya – Libyan House of Representatives meeting over solving the crisis in Libya at Carthage Hotel in Tunis, Tunisia on September 26, 2017. Photographer: Yassine Gaidi/AA]

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