Migrant workers among seven dead in Libya air raid

Twenty-five other people were wounded in the incident

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Seven people were killed, including five African migrant workers, as pro-government forces carried out air strikes Tuesday on the coastal city of Zuara in western Libya, a local official said.

“There were three raids today (Tuesday) ... targeting a food depot, a chemical goods factory and a small port,” the official told AFP, asking not to be named.

He said seven people were killed, including five African workers, and 25 wounded, a casualty toll which could not immediately be confirmed.

Forces loyal to former general Khalifa Haftar, who is allied to Libya’s internationally recognised government and has vowed to expel Islamist militias from main cities, carried out the raids, the official said.

He said the warplane that launched the raids had taken off from an air base in Al-Woutia, also in western Libya, that is controlled by factions loyal to Haftar.

More than three years after dictator Moamer Kadhafi was toppled and killed in a NATO-backed revolt, Libya is awash with weapons and powerful militias, and has rival governments and parliaments.

In an interview published last week, Haftar said he has given himself two weeks to take the eastern city of Benghazi and three months to recapture the capital Tripoli.

The strongman has been battling Islamist militias who took control of the country’s biggest cities this summer after their defeat in elections.

Forces loyal to Haftar and Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani are fighting for control of Benghazi and have also launched an offensive west of the capital.

“For Tripoli we are only at the beginning,” Haftar told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera. “I have given myself three months, but maybe we will need less.”