Haftar Launches Air Strikes in West Benghazi

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Forces loyal to a former Libyan General launched air strikes against three areas of the northern city of Benghazi, shortly after reports of a ceasefire deal between the renegade commander and a government crisis committee.

Haftar Launches Air Strikes in West Benghazi

General Khalifa Haftar's men also shelled residential areas outside Benghazi where they say armed groups are based.

Reporting from Tripoli, Al Jazeera said that the air strikes lasted for at least thirty minutes.

A source close to the armed group Ansar al-Sharia told the TV network that the group had given Haftar supporters 72 hours, ending Tuesday, to leave the Benina area of Benghazi, close to the airport.

Earlier, sources in the Government Crisis Managing Committee, which includes tribal elders, the minister of justice and various brigades in Benghazi, told Al Jazeera that a truce deal had been reached with Haftar, a claim denied by Mohamed Hejazi, Haftar's spokesperson.

According to the Reuters news agency, Haftar has agreed to observe a ceasefire during national elections scheduled for June 25.

Haftar has waged an offensive against fighters, or what he calls terrorists and extremists, in the east of the country for the last three weeks.

His forces have used jets and helicopters to target suspected groups, after his perceived failure of the central government in Tripoli to stop armed militias.

Libya remains in turmoil three years after the NATO-backed war removed Muammar Gaddafi, with various factions locked in conflict.

 

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