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Paramilitary force launches op ‘to cleanse’ southern Libya of Islamic militants, gangs

A spokesman for Libya’s powerful paramilitary based in the eastern city of Benghazi says its troops are launching an operation “to cleanse” the country’s south of Islamic militants and criminals. Ahmed al-Mesmari of the self-styled Libyan National Army, which answers to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, said on Tuesday that the operations aim to “eliminate gangs, Islamic State terrorists and criminals” in the south, AP reports. He said the operation will also try to stem illegal migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, describing it as an “international problem.” The UN recently expressed concern over deteriorating security in southern Libya.