Libya’s UN-backed government reclaims key town near Tripoli

CAIRO (AP) — Libya’s United Nations (UN)-backed government said it has taken back a strategic town near Tripoli from a Libyan commander whose forces have been fighting for the past three months to capture the country’s capital.

The Tripoli-based government released a statement late on Wednesday, saying their militias have retaken Gharyan and vowing to pursue its liberation campaign until the “aggressors are purged from all areas”.

The self-styled Libyan National Army of commander Khalifa Hifter launched a push on Tripoli in April, claiming it seeks to free the city of radical militias.

Gharyan, about 100 kilometres from Tripoli, was a key supply route for Hifter’s forces.

Hifter’s offensive against Tripoli has been widely criticised. So far, hundreds have been killed, mainly combatants but also civilians, and thousands have been displaced.

A vehicle and a structure are damaged following fighting in the region of Tajoura, east of the Libyan capital Tripoli. – AP