Haftar’s forces ‘enter Gaddafi’s birthplace’

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In Libya, rebel forces loyal to Gen Khalifar Haftar say they have entered and seized large parts, including the airport, of the coastal city of Sirte.

Sirte is the birthplace of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and has been under the control of the UN-backed government since the Islamic State group pulled out of the city amid US air strikes in 2016.

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A spokesman for Gen Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) said its fighters “control all the districts surrounding the city of Sirte, and we are heading towards the heart of the city to complete its liberation”.

A resident told Reuters news agency that LNA convoys were in the city.

“We also hear gunfire,” he is quoted as saying.

Libya has been torn by violence since Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011 by Nato-backed forces.

It has two rival administrations, one based in Tripoli and the other in the eastern city of Tobruk.

The conflict has increasingly drawn in foreign states, with Turkey’s parliament voting last week to deploy troops to support the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

Gen Haftar is allied with the Tobruk administration, and is the main military commander fighting the Tripoli government.

BBC

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