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Libya’s Haftar urges troops to ‘wipe out’ military opponents

While the United Nations (UN) this weekend called on the fighting parties in Libya to agree to “an extendable one-week humanitarian truce” in the context of Ramadan, which started this week, renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar made it very clear on Sunday that he doesn’t want his Libyan National Army (LNA) to halt its push for Libya’s capital.

Instead, Haftar called on his forces to “inflict on the enemy, with your force and determination, an even harder and bigger lesson than before.” The ‘enemy’ in question would be the troops loyal to the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli. Haftar also told his soldiers to “wipe out” any retreating GNA forces.

Haftar launched his campaign to capture Tripoli in early April, promising a swift victory that would bring stability to Libya for the first time since strongman Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011. However, the offensive stalled two weeks ago and the GNA actually started to gain ground recently. UN figures shows that the fighting has already killed 432 people, wounded 2,069 more and displaced 50,000.

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