Libyan government forces take strategic town in battle for Tripoli

Military vehicles for GNA’s forces en route to Gharyan

Military vehicles for GNA’s forces en route to Gharyan

Gharyan, about 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, from Tripoli, was a key supply route for Hifter's forces.

Colonel Mohamed Gnono, a spokesman for the GNA said: "I officially confirm that all of Gharyan is under our control".

Human rights groups have accused Haftar and his militia of indiscriminately bombing and shelling civilian targets, specifically in an offensive on Tripoli launched in April. "The operation was carried out with (few) losses and in less than 24 hours".

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Forces allied to the Tripoli government, backed by air strikes, stormed the town in a surprise attack, witnesses said. But the forces remain deployed in several areas around the capital.

A vehicle and structure is damaged from fighting in the region of Tajoura, east of the Libyan capital Tripoli, Saturday, June 15, 2019.

Fighting around Tripoli began in early April, when Haftar started an offensive against the GNA. So far, hundreds have been killed, mainly combatants but also civilians, and thousands have been displaced. "We faced treason from certain people" in the town, Gen. Al-Mabrouk al-Ghazawy was quoted as saying about the LNA's losses. "The LNA had to reinforce its troops around the airport and this is why they weakened their positions in Gharyan", she said.

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Forces of the UN-backed Libyan government on Thursday said they intercepted a convoy of the eastern-based army near the city of Gharyan and captured 20 army soldiers.

The United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia and varied foreign powers have lent sturdy beef up to Haftar, who has portrayed himself as a extremely effective pick who can raise balance to Libya and crush Islamist militants.

The Tripoli-based Presidential Council in charge of the government said in a statement Gharyan was fully "liberated".

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Four Libyan families lodged the lawsuit calling for compensations of 125 million dollars for the killing and wounding of their beloved ones living on the outskirts of Tripoli - southern Tripoli - by Khalifa Haftar's forces in their offensive on the capital.

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