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Libya: Haftar forces break truce on day of conference

Libya: Haftar forces break truce on day of conference
Even while world leaders gather to discuss lasting cease-fire in Libya, forces of warlord Haftar violate existing truce

By Enes Canli

TRIPOLI, Libya (AA) - As world leaders met in Berlin Sunday to chart a way forward for peace in Libya, forces of warlord Khalifa Haftar have been violating a week-old cease-fire around the capital Tripoli.

Periodic gunshots have been heard south of the Libyan capital, and black smoke can be seen rising, according to reports on the ground.

Haftar’s forces launched mortar attacks on Al Halatat and Khallet al-Furjan, both south of Tripoli, Abdul-Malik Al-Madani, spokesman for the operation by Libya’s UN-recognized government to defend the capital, told Anadolu Agency.

Al-Madani also said their Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) Operation retaliated against Haftar’s forces and took control of the situation.

He added that a mortar attack by Haftar militias hit oil tankers in the Halatat region, causing a fire and explosions.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the UAE, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli has been under attack by Haftar since last April, and fighting over the last nine months has killed more than 1,000 people.

On Jan. 12, the warring sides of the Libyan conflict announced a cease-fire in response to a joint call by Turkish and Russian leaders.

But last Monday, talks for a permanent cease-fire deal ended without an agreement after Haftar left Moscow without signing the deal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres are co-hosting Sunday's Berlin conference, attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, among others.

* Writing by Davut Demircan

source: News Feed
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