Libya conflict aviation,lead 14 April 2019 - 19:19

Haftar forces' fighter jet goes down near Libya capital Tripoli, April 14, 2019 (AFP) - Libya's UN-backed government said its forces shot down a fighter jet belonging to forces of strongman Khalifa Haftar south of the capital Tripoli on Sunday. A source for Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) confirmed the loss of a MiG-23 aircraft but attributed it to a "technical failure". The source said the pilot had ejected with his parachute and was "safe and sound", denying reports he had been captured by the UN-backed Government of National Accord. GNA spokesman Mohamed Gnounou earlier told AFP that "the forces of the Libyan army shot down an enemy plane that was preparing to conduct air raids in the Wadi al-Rabie area". The LNA launched an offensive 10 days ago to seize Tripoli, the headquarters of the GNA led by Fayez al-Sarraj which is recognised by the international community. In addition to ground fighting, both sides conduct daily air raids and accuse each other of targeting civilians. The clashes have left 121 people dead and 561 wounded since the offensive began on April 4, according to a recent World Health Organization assessment. ila/gk/fz/dv

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