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Air raids target Haftar's advancing forces near Tripoli

Air raids target Haftar's advancing forces near Tripoli

Haftar declared war on Tripoli on Thursday when he ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army to take the capital from where the UN-backed Government of National Accord operates.

Members of the Libyan pro-internationally recognised government forces check the military vehicles that were confiscated from Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar's troops, in Zawiyah, west of Tripoli, Libya.

There were no reports of significant fighting on Saturday, a day after an LNA spokesman and residents reported that Haftar's forces had seized Tripoli's former worldwide airport.

The UN had been planning to hold a conference in Libya later this month for talks over ending the country's long-running crisis.

As fresh fighting flared south of Tripoli, LNA forces said they had been targeted by an air raid.

Haftar told Bogdanov about what he described as efforts to fight terrorists in Libya, including near Tripoli, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Analysts also believe Haftar wants to affirm his military clout after launching successful operations in the east and the south of the country - spurred by the fact that the global community failed to react to those past offensives.

Khalifa Haftar (left) greets United Nations secretary general António Guterres at a meeting on Friday.

United Nations envoy Ghassan Salame told the council that Haftar made clear to Guterres during the Benghazi meeting that he had no intention of halting his campaign, diplomats said. From the left are: Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Britain's Director General for Political Affairs at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Richard Moore, Italy's Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi, US Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

There were conflicting reports during the day as to how much and where exactly Haftar's fighters were advancing in areas such as Souk al-Khamis.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs is asking Filipinos in Tripoli to exercise extreme caution in view of the continuing tensions near the capital and specifically called on Filipinos living within a 100 kilometer radius of the Libyan capital to remain vigilant", the department said in a statement.

On Friday the LNA briefly seized the airport before being pushed out.

Militiamen from the coastal town of Zawiya, west of Tripoli, retook the base after a "short exchange of fire", the source said on condition of anonymity.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres tried personal diplomacy on Thursday and Friday, meeting with GNA prime minister Fayez Al Sarraj in Tripoli and then flying east to meet Field Marshall Haftar and leaders of the House of Representatives parliament, a rival government to the GNA.

The LNA is allied to a parallel administration based in the east of the oil-rich North African country. More than 120 LNA fighters were also captured.

Marshal Haftar's offensive towards Tripoli raises fears of a risk of a flare up in Libya. "We urge all involved parties to immediately halt all military activity and movements toward Tripoli", the body, which is composed of the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the USA wrote in a statement.

"The situation should be resolved peacefully", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.


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