World Bulletin / News Desk
- Tobruk-based forces of Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar have violated a three-day ceasefire in southern Libya, according to a source within the country’s UN-backed unity government.
"Haftar’s forces on Sunday night attacked the Tamanhant Airbase some 30 kilometers northeast of the city of Sabha,” Mohamed Iqliwan, a spokesman for the unity government’s Third Force, told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
“Mortar fire by Haftar’s forces caused significant material damage to the airbase," he added.
Iqliwan went on to assert that several mortar shells had fallen on a residential area near the facility without causing any damage.
According to the spokesman, a “cautious calm” pervaded the area around the airbase on Monday.
Pro-Haftar forces, for their part, have yet to comment on the alleged ceasefire violation.
On Saturday, pro-Haftar forces and the unity government hammered out a three-day ceasefire following several days of clashes in southern Libya.
On the same day, Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the unity government, called on the international community to intervene to stop the recent military escalations.
"These escalations have nothing to do with fighting terrorism, but rather with the country’s deteriorating political situation,” al-Sarraj declared via Facebook.
Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since early 2011, when longstanding leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody uprising -- backed by NATO airpower -- after 42 years in power.
In the wake of the uprising, the country’s stark political divisions yielded two rival seats of government -- one in Tobruk and the other in Tripoli -- and a host of competing militia groups.