11:09 GMT +320 September 2019
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    Libyan National Army (LNA) members, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, head out of Benghazi to reinforce the troops advancing to Tripoli, in Benghazi, Libya April 7, 2019

    Libyan Gov't Forces Push Back Haftar's Forces South of Tripoli - Reports

    © REUTERS / Esam Omran Al-Fetori
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    Earlier, Libyan National Army (LNA) head Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced a start of the second stage of the offensive on Tripoli.

    Libyan government forces stated on Tuesday that they pushed back troops of Khalifa Haftar in the Hira area south of the capital Tripoli in a counter-offensive, Reuters reporters, citing witnesses. According to the news agency, at least four soldiers from the Haftar army have been killed as a result.

    Earlier in the day, the forces of the Libyan National Army, led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, shot down a military plane belonging to armed groups and attempted to attack the al-Jufra military airbase, a spokesman for the LNA, Ahmed Al-Mismari, said.

    READ MORE: UN Security Council Calls for Urgent Resolution on Libya — German Envoy

    It is reported that the plane had been shot down by the air defence forces of al-Jufry military airbase.

    "Ground defence forces based at al-Jufra were able to shoot down a military plane of terrorist armed groups that tried to attack a military base this morning… There were three planes, two of which fled… A search for the downed plane and pilot is being conducted," the spokesman said.

    In turn, Fayez al-Sarraj government forces deny loss of military aircraft, according to media reports.

    Khalifa Haftar ordered an offensive to take control of Tripoli from GNA forces in early April, prompting a mobilisation of forces loyal to the GNA. In response, armed forces loyal to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) started a military operation against the LNA.

    Libya descended into chaos in 2011, when long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed by rebels backed by NATO.

    The power vacuum prompted competing militias, criminal gangs and terrorist groups.


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    Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), Libyan National Army (LNA), Khalifa Haftar, Libya
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