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Libyan govt launches counter strike against Haftar fighters

ANI | Updated: Apr 21, 2019 05:18 IST

Tripoli [Libya], Apr 21 (ANI): Forces loyal to Libya Unity Government on Saturday launched a counterattack against renegade General Khalifa Haftar's fighters, who earlier this month launched an offensive on Tripoli.
“We have launched a new phase of the attack. Orders were given early this morning to advance and gain ground,” Al-Arabiya quoted Mustafa al-Mejii, a spokesman for the military operation of Libya Unity Government as saying.
Soon after the announcement, the residents said they heard rocket and artillery fire in several districts of the capital Tripoli.
This comes days after US President Donald Trump praised Haftar for his role in fighting terrorism.
Trump "recognised Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya's transition to a stable, democratic political system," the White House said on Friday.

Trump, however, did not mention Haftar's frequent military offensive on Tripoli.
More than 200 people have lost their lives and 913 have been wounded ever since clashes erupted in the region as Haftar's Libyan National Army advanced towards Tripoli.
Libya has been largely divided into two factions ever since the death of its dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
The LNA-backed parliament controls the east of Libya, while the UN-backed interim Government of National Accord (GNA) governs Libya's western region from Tripoli.
While the US government has primarily backed the GNA which is led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, American diplomats and military officers have maintained contacts with Russia backed Haftar.
Most of the international community has urged for a peaceful resolution to the intense fighting which has ensued in the African nation for long. (ANI)