Libya’s UN-backed government said the United Arab Emirates used a US-made jet in Wednesday’s attack on migrant detention centre

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Libya’s UN-backed government has said the United Arab Emirates used a US-made F-16 fighter jet in Wednesday’s attack on a migrant detention center that killed at least 53 people, CNN reports.

The report says that Fathi Bashaagha, the Interior Minister of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), made the accusation to CNN on Friday, adding that further investigation is now underway. “We accuse the UAE of bombing the center with an F-16 jet,” Bashaagha said.

When asked if the GNA had any proof that an Emirati jet conducted the attack, the minister said: “The sound of the jet was identified by technicians and pilots who heard it. The destructive power (of the bombs) is very big and is similar to the destructive power (of the bombs dropped) in 2014.”

“The UAE bombed Tripoli in 2014 and it interferes in the Libyan conflict,” Bashaagha added. In 2014, the Pentagon said it believed Egypt and the UAE had been conducting secret airstrikes in the North African nation. Egypt and the UAE denied that claim.

CNN says it has reached out to the government of the United Arab Emirates for comment but has not yet received any response.

The UAE and Egypt cooperate closely on Libya and back Gen. Khalifa Haftar, leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA), which has led an assault on Tripoli for the past two months.

“There is now a Libyan investigation that follows the flightpath of the jet, which is believed to have entered Libyan airspace from the east that is controlled by Khalifa Haftar,” said Bashaagha.

The LNA has also denied responsibility for the attack on the migrant center in the town of Tajoura, east of the country’s capital.


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