Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

UN envoy to Libya condemns deadly attack on base in south

UN envoy to Libya condemns deadly attack on base in south

Egypt condemns the "brutal terrorist attack" that occurred in south Libya on Thursday which killed dozens of Libyans, a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry said on Friday which was reported by state news agency MENA.

Mohamed Agliwan, a spokesman of the western Libya faction, allied to the internationally recognised government, said they had "liberated the base and destroyed all the forces inside".

The GNA said in a statement late Friday a commission of inquiry had been set up to investigate the attack.

Upon hearing the news of the attack, the United Nations ambassador to Libya, Martin Kobler, expressed "outrage", saying that those killed were also civilians.

Britain's ambassador to Libya, Peter Millett, also denounced the airbase assault.

The mayor of Brak Al-Shati, Ibrahim Zemmi, told local media that the number of dead from the 12th Brigade alone was 74, with a further 18 wounded.

A medical source in Brak Al-Shati said 60 bodies had been brought to a hospital there, including members of the LNA-aligned 12th Brigade and civilians who appeared to have been summarily killed.

The LNA does not recognise the authority of the GNA, and instead supports the rival authorities based in the east.

An informal truce had been reached this month over the matter, after Gen Haftar met Fayez al-Sarraj, the UN-backed prime minister.

The speaker said he had given orders for the armed forces "to take the measures necessary to respond to the assault and defend the south and cleanse it of all outlaw militias".

The Defense Ministry of UN-installed Presidency Council held on Friday Dignity Operation forces responsible for the new military escalation in the south due to their frequent air and ground attacks on Taminhint Airbase, the headquarters of the Third Force, which led to several casualties.

The attack happened one day after Egypt's chief of staff of the army, Mahmoud Hegazi, visited Haftar.

The unity government, and the rival administration in eastern Libya and their respective backers are battling for influence in the North African country which has been wracked by chaos since the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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