Friday, May 19, 2017

Libya: Attack On Military Base Kills At Least 141

At least 141 people, most of them soldiers loyal to Marshal Khalifa Haftar, were killed on Thursday (May 18th) in an attack by rival groups against a military base in southern Libya. A spokesman for the pro-Haftar forces said Friday night.

In addition to soldiers of the Libyan National Army (ANL) of Marshal Haftar, they are also among the victims of civilians who worked at or near the Brak al-Shati base, said Ahmad al-Mesmari, spokesman for ANL. According to him, "  the soldiers killed returned from a military parade in eastern Libya. Most of them were unarmed. They were executed. "

According to military sources, the 3rd Force, a powerful armed group in the city of Misrata, unofficially loyal to the government of national unity (GNA), Thursday conducted an attack on the air base of Brak al-Shati, controlled by The Libyan National Army, self-proclaimed by Marshal Haftar.

The GNA set up a commission of inquiry chaired by the Minister of Justice and decided to "  suspend the Minister of Defense, al-Mahdi al-Barghathi, and the commander of the 3rd Force until identified Officials  "of the attack, according to a decision released Friday night.

The government of national unity and the Ministry of Defense had both condemned Thursday's attack, saying they had not issued an order to that effect. The base of Brak al-Shati is located 650 km south of Tripoli, in a desert and marginalized region, where the state is virtually absent.

Controlling much of eastern and southern Libya, Marshal Haftar is supported by the elected parliament based in Tobruk, hostile like him to the GNA which stemmed from an inter-Libyan agreement signed in late 2015 in Morocco under the aegis of the 'UN. A meeting in early May in Abu Dhabi between the leader of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj and Marshal Haftar, allowed a timid rapprochement between the two men who had agreed to stop a military escalation in the South.

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