On 18 April, a motorcade with Libyan National Army (LNA) Military Governor and LNA chief of Staff Abdulrazzaq al-Nadhouri was attacked by alleged “terrorist sleeper cells” using a VBIED as it moved through Sidi Khalifa, north of Benghazi. On 22 April, the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC), which is currently in the control of the city of Derna, released a conciliatory statement calling for an end to the conflict between itself and the LNA.

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On 12 April, Libyan National Army (LNA) forces arrested an Ansar al-Sharia (AS) figure from Sirte named Salem Abdul Qaway al-Gaddafi while hiding in the Jufra area. On 14 April, the LNA Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Abdurrazaq al-Nadhouri, issued “final readiness” orders to LNA troops station near Derna heralding an impending assault on the city controlled by the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council.

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On 3 April, the UK government stated that it was “likely” that it had been in communication with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the 17 February Martys Brigade during the war in Libya in 2011. On 5 April, the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) claimed to have undertaken a surprise attack on Libyan National Army (LNA) forces in southern Derna, allegedly killing two LNA fighters.

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On 1 April, in a media statement, Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Khalifa Haftar warned that the time given to the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC) – who occupies and controls the city of Derna – to disarm and lay down their weapons has expired and suggests that major clashes in Derna could start at any time.

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On 24 March, the LNA aligned Salafist ‘Arrest and Investigation Units’ of Benghazi and Ajdabiya were disbanded with their respective members re-integrated into the Internal Security Organisations in their respective cities. On 23 March, the Tarik Ben Zeyad brigade, who are one of the two most powerful Salafist brigades aligned to the LNA, deployed to southern Libya.

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On 11 March, it was reported that Saudi Arabia had extradited to the LNA two alleged al-Qaeda members accused of abducting five Egyptian diplomats in Tripoli in 2014. The two suspects were arrested in June 2017 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and are said to be members of the al-Qaeda aligned Libyan militant groups.

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On 4 March, four people were allegedly injured by artillery shelling from the LNA 321 artillery battalion on al-Zintan neighbourhood near the western entrance of Derna. The following day the UN Secretary-General envoy, Ghassan Salame held a meeting in Tripoli with a delegation from Derna to discuss the evolving humanitarian situation in the city.

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On 25 February, Interpol issued a Red Notice for Mahmoud al-Werfalli, the field commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Special Forces Saiqa division, for war crimes relating to summary executions of LNA prisoners accused of being jihadists.

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An LNA offensive against the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council (DMSC), which controls Derna, appears imminent. The LNA continues to deploy large ground forces to Derna from Benghazi, Ajdabiya and other areas to prepare for the assault. Haftar dismissed Wanis Bukhamada as head of the Benghazi JSFOR, replacing him with Abdurrazaq al-Nadhouri.

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Last week, the LNA deployed forces from Benghazi and nearby towns to take up positions around Derna and prepare an offensive against the Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council, which controls the city. The LNA’s Omar al-Mukhtar Operation Room Commander asked all citizens to move away from possible targets, indicating that shelling and/or airstrikes may be used.

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On 23 January, a dual bombing in Benghazi led to at least 40 deaths, with many of those critically injured in the initial attack subsequently dying from their wounds. While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, LNA- affiliated groups have blamed jihadists. On 29 January, the DMSC executed 3 people who they accused of being LNA loyalists.

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On 8 January, the ship Andromeda – reportedly on its way from Turkey to Misrata – was found to contain 29 containers of explosives and 11 empty Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) tanks, which the Libyan National Army described as being intended for “building bombs used for terrorist acts.”

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While there has been a significant amount of armed group activity in Libya this week, there have been no notable incidences connected to Jihadi actors outside of ISIS. For ISIS activity, see the ISIS in Action section.

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