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Security Tensions Engulf Tripoli, LNA Field Marshal Hafter Visits Cairo

Security Tensions Engulf Tripoli, LNA Field Marshal Hafter Visits Cairo

Friday, 3 November, 2017 - 10:30
Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter, Reuters

Battles ruptured with two days ago pitting eastern Tripoli-based militias against each other. Meanwhile, special operations forces affiliated with the National Presidential Council headed by the internationally-recognized leader Fayez Al-Sarraj renounced claims on it carrying out orders made by Libyan National Army (LNA)'s Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter.

Hafter sat for talks with Cairo leaders to review Egypt’s efforts to unify Libya’s military institution.

Security tensions continue to cloud the atmosphere in west-east Tripoli, especially after Sarraj-linked forces, led by western zone military Commander Ossama al Jowaili, attacked LNA’s fourth brigade headquarters.

Local residents and military sources reported military forces inching in rom Zintan, about 136 kilometers southwest of Tripoli, towards the Aziziyah area, as part of a safety operation.

The Zintan Brigades said it was targeting crime scenes and outlaws. On the other hand, Zintan rebels preceded the clashes by issuing a public warning to area residents advising them to stay away from gatherings and places close to clashes.

On that note, the National Committee for Human Rights in Libya expressed its "great and grave" concern that military buildup and movements coming from Zintan is in preparation to wage a regional war led by factions and armed groups led by Jowaili.

In a statement, the Committee warned against these armed movements bearing a mark of a violent escalation and armed clashes.

More so, it called upon the international community to take preemptive swift that will curb such a dire step up which threatens the security, safety and lives of civilians.

In the meantime, special operations commander Major Imad Trabelsi denied joining forces with the Sarraj’s UN-backed government. He pointed out that his forces are loyal to the LNA.

Sarraj early on Thursday discussed with a number of deputies and security leaders ways to secure the entire coastal road, and eradicate hindrances inhibiting a safe and regulated movement.

According to a statement distributed by office aides, Sarraj stressed the need to "unite all efforts until Libya rises above the current crisis and strives confidently towards the state of institutions and law."

Meanwhile, Egyptian sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Hafter’s two-day visit to Cairo was aimed at meeting with Mohamed Farid Hijazi, the chief of staff of the new armed forces.

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