Haftar announces “zero hour” to attack Derna in east Libya

Derna Shura Council managed to seize several vehicles, ammunition, and heavily-armed cars. Archive

The Libyan commander of the self-styled army in eastern region,  Khalifa Haftar, announced the start of military operations to “liberate” Derna on Monday after his forces clashed with rivals on the outskirts of the eastern city.

The clashes on Monday in Al-Fatayeh district saw the killing of at least 7 of Haftar’s force fighters and the destroying of some military vehicles, according to the spokesman for the Derna Shura Council, Mohammed Al-Mansouri.

Meanwhile, Haftar declared the “Zero Hour” for the “liberation of Derna” saying in a speech at a military parade in Benghazi that his “army forces” are now targeting the “terrorists’ hideouts.”

Haftar calls his opponents “terrorists and Al-Qaeda affiliates,” especially those who follow Islamic ideologies.

“We have given instructions to avoid civilians,” Haftar said, adding that peace efforts in Derna have reached a dead end.

 Derna is the last major bastion of opposition to Haftar’s “Libyan National Army (LNA)” in the east of Libya.
The city has been encircled for over a year and the residents have been receiving little needed assistance and few basic foods and other necessities.
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