Libya gov’t forces kill 20 east-based army soldiers

A fighter of Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) of Fayez al-Sarraj, fires a truck-mounted machine gun at the forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, at Ain Zara frontline, in the southern suburbs of capital Tripoli. Photo: Amru Salahuddien/dpa (Photo by Amru Salahuddien/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Libya’s UN-backed government forces on Thursday announced the killing of 20 soldiers of the rival east-based army near the city of Misurata, some 200 km east of the capital Tripoli.

“The Libyan Air Force targeted gatherings of terrorist militia of Haftar (commander of eastern-based army) in the areas of Al-Washaka and Buerat el-Hussoun, killing 20 militia members and destroying a number of armed vehicles,” the government forces said.

Three trucks carrying ammunitions and missiles in Alasaba town, some 120 km west of Tripoli, were also destroyed, the government forces added.

The east-based army has been committed to a military campaign over the past year in and around the capital Tripoli, trying to take over the city and topple the rival UN-backed government.

Thousands have been killed and injured in the fighting, and more than 150,000 have been displaced to flee the violence.

The violence in Libya continued despite international calls for a humanitarian truce to allow authorities to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.