Libya in the Last 24 Hours: Battles Intensify in Tripoli, Militants Surrender to LNA

Khaled Mahmoud

Clashes between the Libyan National Army and Government of National Accord intensified in the capital Tripoli on Wednesday.

Fierce battles were reported in the al-Sbeaa area in southern Tripoli as LNA chief Khalifa Haftar ordered army commanders to refrain from making statements to the media on the military’s advances.

A senior LNA military official told Asharq Al-Awsat that the situation on the ground was “excellent”.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said that the army was close to liberating Tripoli.

The army carried out a number of airstrikes on GNA positions in the capital, but did not disclose details about human or material losses.

The LNA had launched in April an operation to cleanse the capital of pro-GNA militias.

Meanwhile, LNA media said that a group of militants loyal to the Deterrence Force surrendered to the army.

In the South, the LNA said its jets were continuing to strike positions of Chadian mercenaries in the city of Murzuq.

The strikes were carried out hours after the parliament declared it a violence-stricken city and after the army withdrew its forces.

The GNA seized Murzuq, while the LNA had officially accused ISIS and Chadian opposition groups of controlling the city. It accused the Tripoli-based government of supporting terrorists and outlaws.

The United Nations mission in Libya had this week expressed its concern over the ongoing violence in Murzuq, revealing that at least 90 people were killed in the unrest.


LNA’s Air Force strikes GNA’s militias in 4 undisclosed locations

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – The Military Information Division of the Libyan National Army (LNA) said on Thursday that the army’s Air Force carried out four successful airstrikes against militias of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). LNA did not disclose the locations of these airstrikes.

LNA said it is monitoring the sites of secret and random prisons in Tripoli. LNA also said it is following the crimes of identity-based incarceration, indicating that the detainees’ numbers are in the hundreds.

LNA warned that whoever it is behind the kidnappings, he will be a clear and direct target for the army on land and air.

The army stressed that its forces moving towards the capital as part of a well-planned scheme followed by all its soldiers, who know when to move and target the other party’s positions.

Chad closes borders with Libya, Sudan, CAR

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

N’DJAMENA – Chad’s Defense Minister, Mahamat Abali Sala, on Wednesday, announced the closure of his country’s land borders with Libya, Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR) citing security reasons for the move.“The closed borders are the north with Libya, the east with Sudan and the south with the Central African Republic,” the minister said.

He pointed out that the measure was informed by the need to manage entry and exit movements with Chad’s neighbors.

However, some corridors remain open but controlled to maintain the flow of trade with the countries in question, he added.

These corridors are Kouri and Moudi in Libya; Adre, Tine and Amdjireme in Sudan and Sido and Gore in the CAR.

“Crossing our borders without going through these points indicated will be considered a serious offense and will be the target of the defense and security forces,” the Minister of National Defense, also Army Corps General warned.

He added that all motorcycles are banned from the three regions (Ouaddai, Sila and Tibesti) which are under a state of emergency.

Meanwhile “gold mining activities in the provinces of Ouaddai, Sila and Tibesti are suspended until the establishment of the legal mechanism where all people must be identified with all materials before operating,” Sala warned.

He spoke about the important issue of disarming some communities, an exercise being funded by Chadian leader, Idriss Deby.

“A commission of 5,000 men on camels and horses will search villages and homes. Anyone caught with a weapon will be punished according to the law and the weapon seized,” the minister cautioned.

In recent months, clashes between local communities in Chad have led to the death of more than 100 people belonging to different ethnicities in the east and north of the country.