Libya’s eastern commander declares victory in battle for Benghazi

6 Jul 2017   Libya

FILE PHOTO: General Khalifa Haftar, commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), leaves after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo Libya’s eastern commander Khalifa Haftar said on Wednesday his forces had taken full control of Libya’s second city Benghazi from rival armed groups after a three-year campaign. The battle for Benghazi between Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) and an array of Islamist militants and other fighters has been part of a broader conflict since Libya slipped into chaos following the 2011 fall of strongman Muammar Gaddafi. Victory would mark a major advance for the former Gaddafi ally who has slowly gained ground in eastern and southern Libya in defiance of a U.N.-backed government in the west in the capital Tripoli that is struggling to extend its influence. “Your armed forces declare to you the liberation of Benghazi […]

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