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Sunday 22 October 2017

Libya group claims victory over militias paid by Italy to stem flow of migrants

Migrants waiting to be rescued from the Mediterranean Sea
Migrants waiting to be rescued from the Mediterranean Sea

A Libyan armed group has claimed victory over Italian-backed militias paid to staunch the flow of migrants to Europe from the coastal city of Sabratha.

The Anti-Isis Operations Room, created last year to clear Sabratha of Islamic State militants, said in a statement it had taken control of the city from the Martyr Anas al-Dabashi and Brigade 48 militias after a weeks-long battle.

Over the summer, Italy began funnelling resources to the two militias after they agreed to stop facilitating the flow of migrant boats and start blocking them instead.

All factions are nominally under the control of the UN-backed government of national accord, which hailed the developments as "positive".

Libya has been plunged into chaos since a 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

AP

Press Association

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