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LNA Thwarts New Attack on Tripoli Airport

LNA Thwarts New Attack on Tripoli Airport

Monday, 24 June, 2019 - 08:30
Pro-GNA forces are seen in military vehicles on the outskirts of Tripoli, Libya April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Hani Amara
Cairo - Khalid Mahmoud

Fighting between the Libyan National Army and militias loyal to the Government of National Accord subsided in the capital Tripoli on Sunday as the LNA ambushed GNA forces near the former international airport, leaving several militia fighters dead.

The LNA, which is led by Khalifa Haftar, said it caused many casualties in the ranks of militias backing GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj in an ambush near the abandoned airport.

“Those who survived the ambush, have escaped, leaving behind their military vehicles and ammunition,” it said.

Four militiamen were captured, the statement added.

Meanwhile, UN envoy Ghassan Salame held a meeting at the UN Hub in Benghazi with a group of tribal elders from the Eastern Region.

The meeting focused on the need to strengthen the development’s efforts of the UN mission and UN agencies in the Eastern Region. Salame “expressed the UN determination to strengthen its presence in the eastern region from Benghazi,” the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement.

“The tribal elders called on the UN to work towards achieving a fair distribution of Libyan wealth,” it added.

Salame had met with Haftar on Saturday to discuss the Tripoli offensive and ways to "accelerate the transition towards reaching a political solution" in the country, the UN said.

Meanwhile, Libya's National Oil Company warned that any bid to tamper with the sector could escalate unrest in the country, after the parliamentary speaker called for a halt to production.

In a statement issued late Saturday, NOC said it "is concerned by recent calls for the shutdown of national oil production". 

"Any deliberate disruption of oil sector operations will severely impact national revenue streams, potentially render NOC in contravention of contractual obligations, and create further division in the country."

Last week parliamentary speaker Aguila Saleh Issa said oil production must cease, accusing the GNA of using oil revenues to finance the militias fighting Haftar.

"This crucial source of income to the state, vital to all Libyans, must remain de-politicized and uninterrupted," NOC said responded on Saturday.

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