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Country Risk

Arrest of Syrian jihad veterans in Libya reflects Al-Qaeda’s effort to redeploy fighters across North Africa

20 March 2018

Event

The General Command of the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) announced on 20 March that jet fighter aircraft had launched a number of airstrikes targeting two large groups of jihadist militants in southern Libya, without providing further details.

The airstrikes came two days after the LNA counter-terrorism department arrested 16 jihadists in the southern area of Kufra oasis, during a sweep operation in which another group of militants managed to evade arrest. According to the LNA counter-terrorism department’s statement, the 16 arrested militants had Sudanese and Syrian passports and had fought in Syria with Jabhat al-Nusra and other Al-Qaeda-affiliated entities.

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