Libyan government: Haftar plane crashes near Tripoli

TRIPOLI

Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) announced on Wednesday that an airplane belonging to forces loyal to military commander Khalifa Haftar crashed in an area roughly 40 miles southeast of the capital, Tripoli.

“The airplane crashed while trying to target the capital Tripoli,” said a statement by the military command of the GNA-affiliated Volcano of Rage Operation, adding that preliminary information indicated that aircraft fell in the vicinity of the town of Tarhunah.

Though no official comment came from Haftar’s forces, some of their supporters suggested the plane belonged to the GNA.

In April, Haftar’s forces launched a military campaign to capture Tripoli from the internationally-recognized GNA, but have so far failed to make advance beyond the city’s outskirts.

Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya, one being in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara
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