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Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Libya National Army say 16 Turkish soldiers killed in fighting

Reuters , Sunday 23 Feb 2020
Libya
Members of the Libyan National Army are preparing to reinforce troops advancing on Tripoli on April 13, 2019 REUTERS
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Forces loyal to Libya National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar said on Sunday they had killed 16 Turkish soldiers in recent weeks, a day after Turkey acknowledged it had lost several "martyrs" in combat in the north African country.

Khalid al-Mahjoub, a spokesman for Haftar's  LNA, said the Turks were killed in the port city of Misrata, in battles in Tripoli and in the town of al-Falah south of the capital.

Turkey backs Libya's internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and has sent Syrian soldiers along with some of its own soldiers and weapons to help the Tripoli-based administration repel an attempt by the LNA to capture the city.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday acknowledged some Turkish losses in Libya's "struggle".

"We are there (in Libya) with our (Turkish) soldiers and our teams from the Syrian National Army. We continue the struggle there. We have several martyrs. In return, however, we neutralized nearly a hundred (of Haftar's) legionaries," Erdogan said.

The Syrian National Army, also known as Free Syrian Army, is a Turkey-backed Syrian rebel group fighting against pro-Damascus forces in northern Syria, where 16 Turkish soldiers have been killed so far this month.

Ceasefire talks between Libya's warring sides resumed on Thursday after the GNA had pulled out of negotiations following the shelling of Tripoli's port by Haftar's forces.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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