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  • World - Africa
  • Updated: August 25, 2023

Libya: Jihadist Leader Behind Deadly Attacks Captured — Government

Libya: Jihadist Leader Behind Deadly Attacks Captured — Go

Libyan army fighting ISIS

The head of Libya's Government of National Unity declared on Thursday night that a leader of the extremist organisation Islamic State (EI), the "planner and sponsor" of three deadly attacks in the country's capital Tripoli in 2018, had been apprehended.

Abdelhamid Dbeibah, the head of Libya's UN-recognized government based in the capital, announced in a live TV address. 

"Our forces apprehended on Tuesday a leader of the terrorist organisation Daech (Arabic acronym for EI, ed), involved in the planning and command of terrorist acts that targeted our country's institutions and their fallen officials," he stated. 

According to the government's media office, the operation was carried out jointly by the Radaa (Deterrence) Force and the Rahbat al-Dourou (Shields) Brigade from Tajoura (an eastern suburb of Tripoli), but no other information was provided regarding the jihadists identify or country. 

Despite "difficulties and challenges" to defend Libya from "obscurantists, terrorists, and criminals," Dbeibah reaffirmed his government's commitment to "fighting terrorism in all its forms," "prosecuting anyone involved" in terrorist activities, and "strengthening stability throughout the country."

In a suicide attack on the Tripoli headquarters of the Libyan High Electoral Commission (HNEC) on May 2, 2018, 14 persons were killed, according to the EI.

Two people were killed and ten others were injured on September 10, 2018, when a terrorist cell launched a suicide attack on the Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) offices in the centre of the capital.

Three individuals, including a Libyan diplomat, were killed on December 25, 2018, in an incident at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for.

The EI, which has carried out numerous deadly attacks throughout the nation, took advantage of the breakdown of the security system after Muammar Gaddafi's overthrow in 2011 and established strongholds in Sirte (north-central) and Derna (east), from which it was driven out in 2018 and late 2016, respectively.

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