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GNA Accuses LNA of ‘Facilitating’ Terrorists’ Entry into Libya

GNA Accuses LNA of ‘Facilitating’ Terrorists’ Entry into Libya

Tuesday, 9 July, 2019 - 07:00
A pro-GNA fighter fires a weapon during a clash with pro-LNA forces on the outskirts of Tripoli, Libya May 21, 2019. (Reuters)
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud
The Libyan National Army (LNA) and Government of National Accord (GNA) have traded accusations over the re-emergence of ISIS members in southern Libya on Sunday and their pledge of allegiance to the terrorist group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The GNA, led by Fayez al-Sarraj, accused Khalifa Haftar’s LNA of “facilitating the entry of terrorists” into Libya.

The GNA Interior Ministry said it had “anxiously followed” reports on the possibility that ISIS militants may be fleeing Syria to Libya

It accused an LNA official of granting forged visas and written permits to some people from Syria to enter the country through the eastern Benina airport. It also claimed that LNA forces were operating flights between Benina and Damascus international airports.

The GNA issued its statement in wake of media reports that said Russian President Vladimir Putin was worried about “the transfer of some terrorist fugitives from Syria to western Libya,” in reference to their arrival in GNA-held areas.

In contrast, LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said Sunday that ISIS has started to weaken militarily in Libya.

“ISIS members’ pledge of allegiance to a new ‘emir’ in Libya is a sign that the organization’s leaders were killed in military operations,” he told a press conference in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Local media reported that the ISIS militants who appeared in the weekend’s video were seen standing next to cars that were stolen in mid-April from the Tamanhant airbase near Sabha in southern Libya.

In the video, dozens of masked gunmen renewed their allegiance to Baghdadi, vowing to carry out reprisals against the LNA.

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