Six Turkish citizens held in Libya have been freed, says official

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – A Turkish official said six Turkish nationals who were held by a Libyan force have been released.

A Foreign Ministry official said the six crew members of a ship were released yesterday, a day after Turkey vowed it would consider Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter’s forces as “legitimate targets” if the Turkish nationals remained in detention.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Hafter’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) had earlier called Turkish assets in Libya “legitimate targets”, accusing Turkey of helping rival militias allied with the United Nations (UN)-supported government. Hafter’s forces have received aid from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and France.

The LNA controls much of eastern and southern Libya. In April it launched an offensive against Tripoli, where a weak, UN-aligned government is based.