US air strike in Libya kills two militant ‘leaders’

File photo of a US Navy F-18 fighter jet. (Reuters)

A US air strike hit a house in southern Libya on Saturday where militant “leaders” were meeting, killing two of them, the spokesman of the Libyan prime minister said.

Spokesman Mohamed El Sallak, in a statement on his Twitter account, said the strike was “coordinated” with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

The raid targeted “a meeting of terrorist leaders” in a house in the Ubari region, 1,000 kilometers south of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, said Sallak.

He later told AFP he was not immediately able to identify the militants targeted in the air strike.

The United State has carried out frequent raids on the ISIS group in southern Libya.

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

Militants and people-traffickers have taken advantage of the chaos to gain a foothold in the North African country.

ISIS seized Gaddafi 's hometown of Sirte in June 2015 but were driven out of the coastal town in December the following year by pro-GNA forces with US air cover.

The militants are still active, however, in central and southern Libya.

ISIS has claimed several attacks in Libya, the latest in February when a suicide car bombing against the forces of Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar killed three militiamen.

Haftar supports an administration in the east of the country, opposed to the Tripoli-based government of Serraj, who has struggled to assert his authority across the country.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50
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