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Commander of Libyan National Army Haftar urges troops to 'fight harder against enemies'

AFP , Reuters , Monday 6 May 2019
File photo: Commander of Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar.
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Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), urged his troops trying to take the Libyan capital of Tripoli to battle harder and teach their enemies a lesson.

Haftar's message to the LNA was released in an audiotape through the LNA's Spokesman General Ahmed Ahmad al-Mesmari before the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan on Monday.

It also came just hours after the United Nations called for a week-long humanitarian truce following a month of fighting for the capital that has displaced 50,000 people.

The LNA, which is allied to a parallel government in the east, has not been able to breach the southern defences of the Tripoli, which is held by the internationally recognized government.

"Officers and soldiers in our armed forces and the auxiliary forces, I salute you in this glorious days and urge you with your strength and determination to teach the enemy a greater and bigger lesson than the previous ones, as we've always known you to do, till we uproot it from our beloved land," Haftar said.

In a statement earlier, the U.N. Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) appealed for a truce starting on Monday morning at 0400 local time to coincide with the beginning of Ramadan.

"UNSMIL calls on all parties to deliver of humanitarian aid to those in need and to ensure the freedom of movement for civilians during this truce," UNSMIL said in a statement.

Artillery shelling could be heard on Sunday coming from southern outskirts of the capital, where the LNA has been tying to breach defenses by Tripoli forces.

*This report was edited by Ahram Online

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