UN envoy warns IS operation in Libya

Updated: 2014-10-08 16:49


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UN envoy warns IS operation in Libya
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UN envoy warns IS operation in Libya
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TRIPOLI - UN envoy to Libya warned again that the Islamic State (IS) militants are already operating in the volatile North African country, posing major threat to regional security, local media al-Wasat reported on Wednesday.

Bernardino Leon, head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, said the Libyan militants who had fought in Syria and Iraq are now back in the country and the current chaos might be an ideal hotbed to breed for them.

"The jihadists are already here," Leon said, adding that if the warring parties continued fighting each other, then the country will be turned to an "open field" for the IS.

He also urged them to have dialogues instead of prolonging the bloody clashes.

Earlier local media reports suggested that the IS group has set up a permanent base in Libya as headquarters of their North African branch, which functioned as a recruiting depot.

Last Monday, a group of militants paraded with IS flags in the eastern town of Derna, pledging their allegiance to the terrorist organization.

Libya has witnessed growing waves of violence since the 2011 turmoil that toppled the country's former leader Muammar Gaddafi. Since then, its political transition has been mired in endless clashes between Islamist and secular factions.

An UN-brokered talk is underway between Libya's parliament and the opposing political figures in the border town of Ghadames, in an attempt to prevent the country from descending into further anarchy. However, some analysts said the talk might come to nothing as some major Islamist militant groups has boycotted it.