World, Middle East

Libya arrests Daesh/ISIS cell west of Tripoli

Libya says cell was planning to carry out terrorist attacks in the country

Walid Abdullah   | 06.07.2020
Libya arrests Daesh/ISIS cell west of Tripoli

TRIPOLI, Libya

Libyan forces have dismantled a Daesh/ISIS cell in Az-Zawiyah city, west of the capital Tripoli, according to the Interior Ministry on Monday.


A ministry statement said the cell was planning “to carry out terrorist attacks and plots to harm security and stability and spread chaos in the country”.


The statement, however, did not specify how many cell members were arrested.


On Sunday, the Joint Security Operations Room in Misrata city, 200 km east of Tripoli, announced the arrest of a Daesh/ISIS militant, who arrived in the country from Syria in 2016.


Earlier Monday, local Syrian sources said 300 mercenaries were dispatched by Russia to Libya to fight for eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar.


The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said eight Daesh/ISIS militants were among the new mercenaries.


In March, the Libyan government launched Operation Peace Storm against Haftar to counter his attacks on Tripoli, and recently liberated strategic locations including al-Watiya airbase and the city of Tarhuna, Haftar's final stronghold in western Libya.


Libya has been torn by a civil war since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country's new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by Haftar's forces.


*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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