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Libya air force base joins renegade general

19 May 2014, 19:01

Tripoli - A Libyan air force base in the eastern city of Tobruk on Monday joined the forces of a renegade general who had stormed the Libyan parliament to demand its suspension.

"The Torbuk air force base will join...the army under the command of General Khalifa Qassim Haftar," a statement posted on social media said.

Staff at the air base confirmed its authenticity.

Heavily-armed gunmen apparently loyal to Haftar stormed parliament on Sunday demanding it be suspended and power handed over to purge Libya of Islamist militants.

Haftar's forces had attacked militants in the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday. More than 70 people were killed in Benghazi and two in Tripoli.

The Tripoli government has denounced Haftar as trying to stage a coup as it struggles to assert authority on a country awash with militias who toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now defy state authority.

It is unclear how much support Haftar has among regular units and militias.

- Reuters


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