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Libya’s Haftar in Paris for ‘normal checks’

There had been speculation about the strongman’s health over the past few days

Gulf News

Cairo: Libya’s military strongman Khalifa Haftar is in Paris for “normal checkups” after he felt ill, an aide said on Saturday.

“During a scheduled visit program to a number of countries , Marshal #Hiftar felt ill and visited a hospital in Paris for normal checkups,” Ahmad Al Mesmari, the spokesman for the Haftar-led army said in a tweet.

“He will be back in Libya within few days to continue the fight against Terrorism.”

Al Mesmari did not provide specific details about Haftar’s illness.

His remarks come four days after he denied that the 75-year-old commander had serious health problems. On Tuesday, Al Mesmari said that Haftar was in “excellent health” and was following his daily general command duties.

There have been conflicting reports about Haftar’s health, with some claiming he had suffered a stroke, or a lung disorder, which allegedly prompted his hospitalisation to France.

Haftar is the chief of the army forces based in east Libya. Since 2014, he has spearheaded a relentless campaign against militants first in the eastern city of Benghazi and later in other parts of the country. He has since established a clout and expanded territorial control in Libya.

The North African country has been in the grip of violent anarchy and political feud since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 armed revolt.

Libya is being riveted by two competing administrations: one in the capital Tripoli and the second in the eastern city of Tobruk. UN efforts to resolve the feud have been unsuccessful so far.

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