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Egypt's Sisi meets Libyan general Khalifa Haftar in Cairo

On Saturday, the Tripoli-based Interior Minister of the Presidential Council's government Fathi Bashagha accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of reportedly sending Haftar military support in "clear violation of the worldwide law".

A Libyan fighter loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) fires a machine gun during clashes with forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar south of the capital Tripoli's suburb of Ain Zara, on April 10, 2019.

"President Sisi stressed Egypt's support for the efforts of counter-terrorism and fighting the extremist groups and militants to achieve security and stability in Libya", Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in the statement.

Members of Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar get ready before heading out of Benghazi to reinforce the troops advancing to Tripoli, in Benghazi, Libya, April 13, 2019.

The presidency released photos showing Haftar, dressed in a blue suit, sitting with Sisi and his head of intelligence Abbas Kamel.

Gen Haftar is widely thought to have modelled his muscular leadership style on Egypt's Sisi, himself an army general turned president whose rule is defined by his opposition to and zero tolerance towards political Islam.

Analysts believe the campaign on Tripoli could potentially reignite large-scale fighting among the country's rival powers and undermine worldwide efforts to reunite the fractured North African nation.

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Sisi has supported Haftar's forces.

In March 2016, GNA chief Fayez al-Sarraj arrived in Tripoli to set up a new government, but the Haftar-allied administration in the eastern city of Tobruk refused to recognise its authority.

Fighting in recent days has been taking place on the outskirts of Tripoli as LNA forces have been bogged down by groups aligned with the Government of National Accord (GNA).

Both sides accuse each other of targeting civilians.

The WHO said in a tweet that 561 others had been wounded since commander Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive earlier this month to take Tripoli, which is now controlled by a UN-backed government.

"The humanitarian community is concerned about rising numbers of civilian casualties, including medical personnel", OCHA Libya said.

United Nations envoy Ghassan Salame said a school was bombed in the town of Ain Zara, around 15 kilometres southeast of Tripoli, without saying who was responsible.



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