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Libya strongman Haftar hospitalised in France for 'heart condition treatment' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Libya strongman Haftar hospitalised in France for 'heart condition treatment'

Libya has been mired in violent turmoil since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 April, 2018

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Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar has been flown to France for medical treatment after reportedly falling into a coma, according to a source close to him.

Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar has been flown to France for medical treatment after falling into a coma, according to a source close to Haftar.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The New Arab on Thursday that Haftar is suffering from a "heart condition" and was taken from Jordan to France to be hospitalised.

"The doctors' reports have found that Haftar has a weak heart, causing him over time to not be able to get rid of extra liquid in his blood," the source said.

"He fainted several times before he went into a coma that required him to be taken from Jordan to France,"

The source added that Haftar regained consciousness on Wednesday and that he is slowly regaining his health.

French media reported on Wednesday that the 75-year-old was in a coma at a Paris hospital after suffering a stroke.

There were also disparate reports in Libyan media, with various outlets saying he suffered a lung problem, was in a coma or was under no risk but would remain under medical supervision for days.

On Tuesday, Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army spokesman said on his official page that Haftar is in "excellent health."

Ahmad al-Mismari then avoided the topic of Haftar's health during his weekly press conference on Wednesday.

"Libyans should not be dragged into rumours spread by the Muslim Brotherhood," Mismari said.

Haftar's absence, or speculation about his health, could cause further upheaval in the already chaotic Libyan political situation.

Libya has been mired in violent turmoil since a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The country is now riven by divisions between a UN-backed government in the capital Tripoli and a rival administration backed by Haftar in the east.

Haftar's forces are backed by Russia, Egypt and the UAE.

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