LNA denies ground clashes near Derna, but admits air strikes

By Libya Herald reporter.

Benghazi, 5 March 2017:

The spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA) has denied reports of ground clashes near Derna between it and the Shoura Council of the Mujahideen in Derna (SCMD). However, there had been airstrikes on newly discovered mujahideen arms stores in Dahra Al-Hamra west of the town, Colonel Ahmed Mismari told the Libya Herald.

An SCMD official, though, has claimed that an LNA attempt today to advance on Derna had been thwarted and a number of LNA fighters wounded. Separately, the head of the LNA’s Omar Mukhtar Operations Room, Brigadier Salim Al-Rifadi, is also reported speaking of clashes at Dahra Al-Hamra. However, he said that there had been SCMD casualties as well as an undisclosed number of his own soldiers killed in a mine explosion.

The Omar Mukhtar Operations room covers an area from Susa and Ras Hilal to the Gulf of Bomba, with Derna at its heart. Today, however, it was disclosed that Al-Rifadi has set up an affiliate operations room to coordinate all military and security activities relating specifically to Derna. It is to be headed by Brigadier Salim Mazouq.

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