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Libya's deputy interior minister 'declares war' on General Haftar

Khalifa Haftar's forces were accused of attacking a GNA compound in Benghazi on Friday [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 November, 2017

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A Benghazi-based minister has threatened war against Khalifa Haftar's LNA if they do not leave the eastern city within 48 hours.

Libya's Deputy Unterior Minister of the Government of National Accord has given General Khalifa Haftar's forces a 48 hour deadline to leave Benghazi and transfer power to GNA forces.

Faraj Egayem, who is based in the eastern city of Benghazi, delivered the ultimatum after his headquarters in the city came under mortar attack on Friday.

Egayem indicated that an escalation of hostilities will take place if Haftar's forces remain in Beghazi.

Speaking to the Libya 218 television channel, Egayem claimed that Friday's attack was carried out by Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army.

The attack reportedly killed three interior ministry personnel and injured seven others, according to the minister.

Egayem added that he has organised a meeting on Saturday, to which he has invited local leaders to pledge allegiance to a GNA commander.

Years of political turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi have left Libya divided between rival governments and beset by violence as militia forces battle for power.

Representatives of the rival Libyan authorities have already held two rounds of talks in Tunisia aimed at amending a UN-backed political agreement struck in 2015.

The deal had led to the creation of the GNA, a unity government headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

During the first round of talks in September, rival Libyan politicians had agreed to set up a three-member Presidency Council and a new government.

Disagreement centres on an article of the 2015 deal which gives the GNA the power to name the head of the armed forces.

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