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Haftar Attacks Qatar as Russia Supports Egypt | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Smoke rises during heavy clashes between rival factions in Tripoli, Libya, May 27, 2017. (Reuters)

Cairo – Libya’s eastern military commander General Khalifa Haftar again accused on Monday Qatar of supporting terrorist groups in Libya, while Egyptian and Libyan warplanes continued attacking positions and arms caches in several Libyan cities controlled by those groups.

In a message addressed to the entire Libyan Army units, Haftar said that Qatar, in addition to other states that he refused to mention, were handing large sums of money to the terrorist militias, adding that he had ordered that foreigners should not be allowed to carry arms inside Libya.

“The Libyan army recorded the arrival of citizens from Chad, Sudan and other African and Arab states to the country. They entered Libya due to lack of control over the borders. They received money from Qatar, as well as other countries and terrorist groups,” he added.

Haftar’s statement said: “Any foreigner carrying arms in Libya will be arrested and punished collectively or individually.”

Meanwhile, Egyptian and Libyan warplanes shelled for the third consecutive day, terrorist positions in the area of Jafrat, while Egypt continued its airstrikes carried on Derna since last Friday following the shooting of Coptic Christians in Minya in Upper Egypt, which resulted in the death of 29 civilians.

In the latest related development, forces loyal to Libya’s UN-backed unity government seized control of Tripoli’s international airport and Russian and Egyptian officials held talks in Cairo.

Russia affirmed its support for Egypt in its war against terrorism, during the visit of Russian Foreign and Defense Ministers, Sergei Lavrov and Sergey Shoigu to Cairo, where they met with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

For his part, the Egyptian president said challenges facing the Middle East require that both countries work together to eliminate terrorism and reinstall stability in the region.