World, Africa

Libya: UN-backed government vows to fight 'mercenaries'

Move to back army units comes after Sunday's attack by 'foreign armed groups'

Libya: UN-backed government vows to fight 'mercenaries'

By Waleed Abdullah


The UN-backed presidential council in Libya on Tuesday said some unspecified measures had been taken to support army units to respond to repeated attacks by "groups of mercenaries".

In a statement Tuesday, the presidential council hailed "the success of military units in repelling attacks on its headquarters in the city of Sabha [south]".

The military zone in Sabha came under attack on Sunday by “foreign armed groups”, according to the head of the municipal council of the city, Hamid Rafi Al-Khayali.

The armed men also raised the flags of Chad, Al-Khayali told Anadolu Agency.

"Any attack on camps and army headquarters is an attack on national sovereignty and threatens the security of the whole country," the presidential council said.

"The [presidential] council and all Libyans will never give up their duty to defend the south, and will thwart all attempts aimed at creating a new demographic reality in our south,” the statement added.

Libya has been locked in a state of violence and turmoil since 2011, when a bloody popular uprising ended with the ouster and death of longtime strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government -- one in Tobruk and another recognized by the UN in capital Tripoli -- each of which boasts its own military capacity and legislative assembly.

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