Egypt condemns 'terrorist attack' on Libyan Buraq Al-Shati air base

Ahram Online , Friday 19 May 2017

Egyptian foreign ministry (Photo: AL-ahram)

Egypt condemns the "brutal terrorist attack" that occurred in south Libya on Thursday which killed dozens of Libyans, a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry said on Friday which was reported by state news agency MENA.

A suspected militia attack on Libya's Buraq Al-Shati air base reportedly killed at least 60 soldiers and civilians and wounded dozens on Thursday, according to the AP.

However, other medical sources told Sky News Arabia that the number of people killed in the attack reached 134 soldiers and civilians.

The deadly attack took place when the the Libyan army retook the army base from the militia that had apparently taken control of it, and forced the militia to withdraw to their bases in Sirte and Misrata cities.

The foreign ministry said Egypt demanded that those involved in the attack be dealt with, while also expressing condolences for the families of the victims and support to the Libyan people and to the Libyan national army.

The statement stressed "the necessity not to give the keys of the Libyan political status to illegal groups, who are attempting to have a political role through terrorist actions, in coordination with terrorist organisations and elements, and by foreign support and fund."

The attack happened only one day after a visit by the Egyptian army's chief of staff, Mahmoud Hegazi, to the Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi on the third anniversary of Operation Dignity, where Hegazi expressed Egypt’s support for ongoing efforts to preserve the unity of Libya and its territorial integrity.

Earlier last week, Haftar visited Cairo and met with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

El-Sisi reiterated that Egypt encourages political dialogue to end the Libyan crisis, as well as amendments to the Skhirat agreement, which was signed in Morocco in 2015 and mandates a peaceful transition and the establishment of a national unity government.

Egypt has been hosting a series of negotiations in Cairo since late 2016 between the rival Libyan factions, with Hegazi facilitating.


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