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U.S. Says Airstrike in Libya Kills 8 Terrorists

U.S. forces conducted an airstrike on Thursday in the vicinity of Murzuq, Libya, killing some eight terrorists, the U.S. Africa Command said on Friday.

The strike was conducted in coordination with the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

“U.S. Africa Command conducted this airstrike to eliminate terrorist leaders and fighters and to disrupt terrorist activity,” said Gen. Stephen Townsend, AFRICOM commander. “We will not allow them to use the current conflict in Libya as protection. Together with our Libyan partners, we will continue to deny terrorists safe haven in Libya.”

The force said in its statement that assessments showed that no civilians had been killed or wounded in the precision airstrike.

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AFRICOM in its statement said it would continue supporting “diplomatic efforts to stabilize the political situation in Libya and disrupt terrorist organizations that threaten regional stability.”

Libya has been dogged by fighting since the 2011 NATO-backed ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi’s death created a void that various war groups sought to fill, leading to violent clashes that killed thousands and displaced millions of people.

Currently, the North African country is grappling with increased fighting between GNA forces led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarra and forces loyal to General Khalifa, holding eastern Libya.

The U.N. and international partners have called for dialogue between the warring sides to end the chaos, with the aim of forming a unity government and later holding national elections.

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