Local media says the attack took place in the government-held town of Shakshuk in western Libya, 150 km south of Tripoli.

Smoke rises from Mitiga Airport in Tripoli, Libya on April 13, 2020.
Smoke rises from Mitiga Airport in Tripoli, Libya on April 13, 2020. (Reuters)

Local media in Libya said that at least eight pro UN-backed government fighters were killed on Tuesday in a heavy drone attack by militants loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar. 

It added the attack took place in the government-held town of Shakshuk in western Libya, 150 km south of Tripoli.  

Anadolu Agency, quoting government officials, said that the drones used in the attack were provided by UAE, one Haftar's main backers in his fight against the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).  

This attack comes a day after significant gains made by GNA forces, who had recaptured a city and several towns from Haftar militiamen in western Libya.

On Monday, GNA military spokesman Mohammed Qanunu said his troops had regained control of around 2,000 square miles of land west of the capital Tripoli from Haftar.

Qanunu said an armoury, large amount of ammunition and military equipment belonging to Egypt and the UAE were also seized.

He said as part of Operation Peace Storm, GNA forces also seized six panzers, 10 tanks, hundreds of heavy and light weapons and ammunition and Grad rockets belonging to the UAE after retaking the city and towns.

Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj announced that the corpses of mercenaries loyal to Haftar who were killed in the conflict, will be sent back to their countries.

He said they have adopted this method to show these countries what their citizens are doing in Libya.

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry meanwhile claimed that any force affiliated with the Sudanese army is not involved in clashes in Libya.

The GNA has been under attack by Haftar’s forces since last April, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence. 

It launched Operation Peace Storm on March 26 to counter attacks on the capital.

Since the ousting of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya, supported by Egypt and the UAE, and the GNA in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

Source: AA