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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On 28 December, the Libyan National Army announced the full purge of jihadist forces from Benghazi – six months after the LNA initially declared the city liberated. The following day, Derna reportedly received some of the fleeing BRSC-linked fighters.

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On 26 December, unknown attackers caused an explosion on the Zagout-Sidra oil pipeline. The explosion occurred on the pipeline 256km south east of Sidra and 25km north of Marada. The attackers are reported to have arrived at the site in two cars and planted explosives on the pipeline. Muftah Magariaf, the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) affiliated Petroleum …

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The Derna Mujahadeen Shura Council (DMSC), the jihadi organization that controls the besieged city of Derna, stepped up its anti-ISIS operations throughout last week, arresting former ISIS members who had previously been detained or absorbed by the DMSC, and clashing with others. On 17 December, fighting between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and DMSC fighters east of Derna is reported to have left one LNA fighter dead and another wounded in the Kassarat area.

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Ismail Kamoka and four other Libyans have successfully won a legal case to sue the UK’s M15 and M16 for unlawful detention and the unlawful use of counter-terrorism control orders. On 7 December, Human Rights Watch released a statement detailing the destruction of two historic Sufi mosques this year in Tripoli.

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On 28 November, Libyan national Ahmed Abu Khattala, was convicted of terrorism charges related to the 2012 September 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi and the attack on the nearby CIA annex on the 12th. The jury acquitted Khattala of 14 of the 18 charges, which included finding him not guilty of murder. Abu Khattala faces life …

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On 27 November, the LNA conducted an airstrike on DMSC targets in al-Dahra al-Hamar area, south of Derna. On 23 November, a mutiny inside a Misratan prison among Islamist hardliners led to four prisoners fleeing, with two later killed in a faceoff with prison guards.  

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