Government forces foil attack on Haftar and capture 11

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Tripoli, Libya

The UN-backed Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) said on Monday its armed forces foiled a “fierce attack” by forces affiliated with rival Khalifa Haftar south of the capital Tripoli, capturing 11 Haftar-affiliated fighters during the process.

The GNA forces “still retain their positions,” Anadolu Mustafa Al-Majai, spokesperson for the GNA’s military operation against Haftar, told the news agency.

Haftar’s forces suffered significant equipment losses during the battle, he added.

Haftar’s attack was carried out at various sites south of Tripoli, including Al-Khula, Ain Zara and El-Sbeaa, and the latter witnessed the capture of fighters affiliated with Haftar, according to Al-Majai.

No immediate statement on the situation was available from Haftar’s forces.

On April 4, Haftar announced the launch of a campaign to capture Tripoli from GNA forces.

Clashes between the two sides since then have left more than 1,000 dead and around 5,500 injured, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Libya has remained in turmoil since 2011, when a NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

Since then, the country’s blatant political divisions have ceded two rival seats of power – one in Tobruk led by Haftar and one recognized by the UN in Tripoli – and a host of heavily armed militias.

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