TRIPOLI, Libya

Residents of the southern Libyan town of Awbari on Monday requested a government security force to wrest control of the surrounding area from the forces of renegade general Khalifa Haftar. 

Locals called on the presidential council of the government to “form a security force to recapture the south from the fest of Haftar’s militias, which tormented the city and killed many for years.”

“Libya will only be a free civil state, no matter how loud coup voices and their supporters rise, after the enormous sacrifices made by its sons,” they said.

Along with Sabha city, Awbari and the military council of the town of Murzuq have publicly defied Haftar.

The Libyan Army has recently made gains against Haftar’s militias, which are supported by France, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Following the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya’s government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led political deal. Since April 2019, the government has been under attack by Haftar’s forces, based in eastern Libya, and more than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence.

*Bassel Ibrahim contributed this report from Ankara

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