Middle East

Sites linked to militia group targeted in central Libya

Revolutionary group appears to have been target of airstrikes in Libya's central Al-Jufra district

Ekip   | 09.02.2017
Sites linked to militia group targeted in central Libya


By Jabbour Dokn


Sites associated with the Saraya Defend Benghazi (SDB) group were targeted by warplanes on Thursday in Libya’s central Al-Jufra district, killing two people and injuring six, according to a local official.

The official, speaking anonymously due to restrictions on talking to media, said the air raids had targeted SDB sites near the district’s strategic Al-Jufra Airbase.

It remains unknown, the official added, who carried out Thursday’s air attack.

While no party has yet claimed responsibility for the airstrikes, the SDB has been targeted in the past by forces loyal to Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament led by Tobruk-appointed military chief Khalifa Haftar.

The SDB was established last summer by Islamic revolutionaries loyal to Sheikh Sadeq al-Gharyani, Libya's grand mufti.

Its stated aim is to support the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries -- a Benghazi-based militia group -- against pro-Haftar forces.

Currently held by Libya’s UN-backed unity government, the Al-Jufra Airbase is regarded as one of the country’s most important military airbases.

Libya has been dogged by violence and turmoil since 2011, when a bloody 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 in capital Tripoli.

In an effort to resolve the ongoing political standoff, Libya’s rival governments in late 2015 signed a UN-brokered agreement to establish a unity government.

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