Egypt's Sissi meets Libyan strongman Haftar in Cairo

Egypt's Sissi meets Libyan strongman Haftar in Cairo

Egypt's Sissi meets Libyan strongman Haftar in Cairo

Troops loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government have shot down a fighter jet belonging to the eastern forces under the command of Khalifa Haftar, on the same day the renegade general held talks with Egypt's president in Cairo.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed on Sunday with Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter, commander of the Libyan Armed Forces, the latest developments in Libya and Egypt's keenness to see unity, stability and security in its neighbouring country, presidential spokesperson Bassam Rady said.

Since the overthrow and death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been ruled by rival administrations in the east and west of the vast, oil-rich country.

The meeting was attended by Egypt's intelligence chief Abbas Kamel. The United Nations has warned the situation could spiral out of control.

The UN said on Sunday that a school was bombed in Ain Zara southwest of Tripoli, without saying who was responsible.

As well as thwarting the United Nations plan, the flare-up threatens to disrupt oil supplies, boost migration to Europe, let Islamist militants exploit the chaos, and worsen Libyans' suffering.

The WHO said in a tweet that 561 others had been wounded since commander Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive earlier this month to take Tripoli, which is now controlled by a UN-backed government.

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The fighting killed and injured hundreds of people, and forced thousands of civilians to flee their homes.

But Fayez al-Serraj's National Accord government has managed to halt the advance for now, aided by forces with machine-guns on pickups and steel containers across the road into Tripoli.

No other details were immediately available.

"Haftar's warplanes have been targeting several locations in and around Tripoli and also warplanes with the GNA have been targeting Haftar's locations south of Tripoli", Abdelwahed said.

The 75-year-old Haftar's push for Tripoli took many by surprise and has brought calls from round the world for a ceasefire.

Egypt has in the past blamed Libyan-based militants for a series of cross-border attacks against its security forces and minority Christians traveling to remote desert monasteries. He was referring to eastern officials allied to the Tripoli government.

His lightning drive appears to have united diverse factions in western Libya in the defense of Tripoli.

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