On 8 October, the LNA captured former Egyptian Special Forces officer turned jihadist, Hisham al-Ashmawy, in the al-Maghar neighborhood of Derma. Al-Ashmawy was captured with a suicide vest on, which he had failed to detonate.

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On 25 September, an attempt to assassinate the Dean of the Derna Municipality, Abdel-Moneim al-Ghaithi, was thwarted following the identification and dismantling of an Improvised Explosive Devise close to his room in the Pearl Hotel. Derna Protection Force (DPF) remnants are suspected of being responsible for the attack.

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On 24 September, as many as eight dead bodies belonging to the Libyan National Army were unearthed in Derna following the confessions of alleged ISIS militants. On 17 September, the Sirte Protection Force (SPF) uncovered a cache of unexploded ordnance abandoned by ISIS.

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On 21 July, reports began emerging suggesting that prominent al-Qaeda linked figures Mahfouz Ould al-Walid (Abu Hafs al-Mauritani) and Hisham Ashmawi (Abu Omar al-Muhajir al-Masri) are amongst the Derna Protection Force (DFP) remnants isolated to small pockets of old town Derna by the LNA.

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Last week, the Libyan National Army’s 101 Brigade published photos that circulated on social media of senior al-Qaeda leader Sufiyan Bin Qammu amongst other al-Qaeda militants in Derna. Qammu is thought to be a prominent al-Qaeda theoretician in Libya and is known within the group as “The Libyan Knight.”

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On 28 June, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced the ‘liberation’ of the city of Derna. Earlier that day the LNA had stated that they had complete control of the city and that Brigadier General Salem al-Rifadi was appointed the head of the Joint Security Operations Room for the city.

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On 25 June, the leader of the Derna Protection Forces (formerly known as the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council), Atiyah al-Shaari, was reportedly killed in a Libyan National Army (LNA) airstrike in downtown Derna.

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On 16 June, the Libyan National Army (LNA) claimed to have captured al-Qaeda linked Ansar al-Sharia commander Safian bin Kamou during a raid in northern Derna. On 14 June, two senior leaders of the Benghazi Defence Brigade (BDB), Ahmad al-Tajouri and Faraj Shaku, were allegedly killed by airstrikes as they moved from Bani Walid to the Oil Crescent.

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On 9 May, one of the Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council’s key religious ideologues with alleged connections to al-Qaeda, Omar Refaair Sorour, was killed during a Libyan National Army (LNA) air strike on a residential area in downtown Derna.

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On 5 June, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari announced that LNA forces had taken control of 75 percent of Derna from the DPF. The day before In a video announcement to the LNA and civilians in Derna, Haftar highlighted to his troops the importance of protecting prisoners of war and warned of the dangers to civilians of Derna in aiding and abetting ‘terrorists”.

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The Libyan National Army (LNA) campaign against the Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council (DMSC) – which has now renamed itself the Derna Protection Force (DPF)– continues in Derna. On 28 May, the LNA announced that it had taken control of the western entrance of Derna, the industrial area of al-Fatayah, and the areas in and around the al-Katib factory.

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On 12 May, the DMSC announced it was dissolving itself and changing its name to ‘the Derna Protection Force’. On 15 May, the LNA’s Omar Mukhtar Operations Room claimed to have completely captured al-Hila, south of Derna, as a part of on going operations to take the city from the DMSC.

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On 7 May, LNA Commander Khalifa Haftar announced that ‘peace efforts’ with the DMSC, which controls Derna, had failed and that the ‘zero hour’ for the ‘liberation’ of Derna had begun. The LNA has claimed that it has made advancements on all fronts in Derna. On 7 May, 7,000 LNA officers conducted a military parade for the 4th anniversary of “Operation Dignity” at Benghazi’s Benina airbase.

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