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Libyan army says terror leaders ‘reside in Turkey’

Published: Updated:

Libyan army spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari called on people in Derna to withdraw their sons from the battle the army is fighting against terrorism and said many youth fighting in the ranks of terror groups have been influenced by the calls of terror leaders who reside in luxurious hotels in Turkey.

“Those issuing fatwas (religious edicts) to fight the army in Derna reside in Turkey and push youth to fight in a losing battle,” Mesmari said, noting that the army is steadily advancing towards terrorist strongholds.

He also called on people to not allow terrorists to deploy weapons above rooftops or in the streets because “any sources of gunfire on the armed forces will be targeted.”

According to Mesmari, army forces “are now inside Derna on several axes,” and terror groups which were stationed in al-Zohr al-Homr and al-Heela fled and “got stationed in the mountains but they were expelled and a large number of (their members) was killed.”

Abdel-Karim Sabra, the spokesman for the Omar Mukhtar Operations Room, told Al Arabiya.net that the army seized control of new posts in the eastern and southern axes which terror groups had used as bastions considering the protection provided by highlands.

Sabra added that the army now supervises areas that are only a few kilometers away from the center of the city.

Meanwhile, a local source told Al Arabiya.net that terror groups began fortifying their new posts inside the city, adding that a dispute erupted between residents in the Shiha neighborhood and armed terrorists because the former refused to allow them to fortify in their neighborhood.

The source added, however, that terror groups managed to position themselves in several other neighborhoods.

A video and footage obtained by Al Arabiya.net showed military vehicles destroyed by the shelling and trenches used by terrorists.