East Libyan jet strikes rival military plane as tensions escalate

imgForces allied to Libya’s eastern government carried out an airstrike against a military transport aircraft on Tuesday, wounding the head of the military council from the rival city of Misrata, Reuters reports.
The airstrike and preceding clashes between the two military forces has raised fears of an escalation of violence in Libya’s central desert region.
There have been mounting tensions between forces linked to the western port city of Misrata and the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).
The two sides were in opposing military alliances that fought for control of Tripoli in 2014, leaving Libya with two competing governments.
While the LNA, led by Khalifa Haftar, is linked to the Tobruk government of the East, Misrata forces are loosely aligned with the GNA, the U.N.-backed government of the west. .
According to Reuters, the LNA reported that one of its fighter jets struck a C-130 transport plane parked in Jufra that was believed to be delivering arms and ammunition to ‘terrorist’ groups in the area.
The LNA has carried out previous strikes nearby against forces including Islamist fighters that it says have been attempting to attack and take over the eastern oil fields under LNA control.
However, an air force spokesman in Misrata, Mohamed Gnounou, denied the aircraft was transporting weapons, saying the C-130 was carrying a visiting delegation from Misrata.

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