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Report: Eastern Libyan forces begin offensive to retake oil terminal

Europe
14.03.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Cairo (dpa) - Libya‘s eastern military forces, affiliated with strongman Khalifa Haftar, have started an offensive to recapture the town of Ras Lanuf, where fighting over oil terminals in the area recently erupted, local media reported on Tuesday.

The clashes began this month when the self-styled Benghazi Defence Brigades attacked the area and took control of two oil terminals from Haftar‘s Libyan National Army.

The Benghazi Defence Brigades are made up mainly of fighters who were forced out of Benghazi in eastern Libya as a result of a military campaign launched by Haftar in 2014 against Islamists.

The Libyan National Army‘s Fawzi al-Mansouri told Al-Wasat news that forces are now fighting to retake the town of Ras Lanuf, along with its one oil terminal. The second terminal is located nearby.

In September, Haftar‘s forces seized both terminals, a step that later allowed the oil authorities in the OPEC country to restart some of them for crude exports.

Libya has been in a state of near anarchy since the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moamer Gaddafi.

In March 2016, a UN-backed unity government led by Fayez Serraj took over in Tripoli amid international hopes it would re-establish stability in the country.

But the Serraj government has been unable to gain recognition from the elected parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk, which supports Haftar.

 

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