Libyan strongman Haftar hospitalized in Paris

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Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar is receiving treatment at a Paris hospital, his spokesman said late Friday.

“During a scheduled visit program to a number of countries, Marshal Haftar felt ill and visited a hospital in Paris for normal checkups,” Ahmed al-Mesmari wrote on Twitter.

The 75-year-old Haftar “will be back in Libya within few days,” he added.

Contradictory information about the strongman’s health and possible demise had been circulating in Libyan press and on social media this week.

Haftar had not made any public appearances recently, fueling the rumors.

Some local media even announced his death Friday, despite repeated denials from his spokesman and relatives.

The UN said that their envoy, Ghassan Salame, had spoken to Haftar Friday “and discussed the general situation in Libya and the latest political developments in the country,” UNSMIL tweeted.

Khalifa Haftar “is very well. He will return to Libya this weekend,” a relative of the strongman told AFP speaking on condition of anonymity.

Libya has been gripped by chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, with rival administrations and multiple militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.

Haftar supports an administration based in the east of the country. A UN-backed unity government based in the capital Tripoli has struggled to assert its authority outside the west.

IS jihadists remain active in central and southern Libya despite being forced out of their northern stronghold Sirte in 2016.

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