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Warplanes target Libya’s Benghazi Defense Brigades

A site associated with Libya’s Benghazi Defense Brigades was hit by an airstrike south of the country’s central Al-Jufra area, injuring at least one person, local sources have said.

According to a member of Al-Jufra’s provincial council, who spoke anonymously due to security concerns, the airstrike targeted a Brigades-affiliated camp in the village of Hun (Al-Jufra’s regional capital).

Shortly afterward, forces loyal to Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament — led by army strongman Khalifa Haftar — claimed responsibility for the strike.

In September, pro-Haftar forces seized the region north of Al-Jufrah known as the “oil crescent” — an area coveted by the Benghazi Defense Brigades, which is loyal to Libya’s Tripoli-based Presidential Council.

The Benghazi Brigades was established in June to support the Shura Council of Benghazi, a coalition of armed groups that fought against the Gaddafi regime in Libya’s bloody 2011 uprising.

The Shura Council of Benghazi is vehemently opposed by Haftar’s forces, which were drawn up in mid-2014 with the ostensible aim of fighting “terrorist” groups.

Libya has been locked in a state of turmoil since Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster and death following the 2011 uprising.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government — one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli — both of which boast a military capacity.

Late last year, Libya’s rival governments signed a UN-backed agreement to establish a unity government in an effort to resolve the country’s ongoing political standoff.

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