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Haftar forces free 19 from ISIS captivity following clashes

A member of the Libyan military police looks through binoculars as they fight alongside troops loyal to Khalifa Haftar, a retired general and former chief of staff for Moamer Kadhafi, in clashes with ISIS in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. (AFP
The self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) says its forces have freed nearly 20 people who were kidnapped by ISIS militants during attacks in central Libya.

Spokesman Ahmed Al-Mesmari said on Tuesday that clashes erupted late Monday between LNA forces, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter, and ISIS militants in Ghadwua village, 70 kilometers from the southern city of Sabha.

A military official said at least 21 people were kidnapped from the towns of Al-Fuqaha and Tazerbu last month; two of them managed to flee and reported the locations of the others. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief media.

He said ISIS militants were holding the remaining 19 people in containers on farmland and that clashes killed a soldier.

ISIS has been active in Libya in the turmoil since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The group took control of the coastal city of Sirte in 2015 but lost it late in 2016 to local forces backed by US airstrikes.

Security measures

Interior Minister in the Libyan Government of National Accord Fathi Bashaagha acknowledged on Sunday financial corruption in his ministry in Tripoli, while also calling for merging the militias that have been in the capital with the security forces, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

The Interior Ministry, he said, is the “backbone of the state, which is why we would bring together all the armed groups under the ministry’s wing given the circumstances the country is enduring.”

The minister also said that he was preparing a plan to impose security in Tripoli and its suburbs and which he hopes to apply for the first half of 2019.

Last Modified: Wednesday، 02 January 2019 09:47 AM