TRIPOLI, May 20 (Xinhua) — Libya’s eastern-based army spokesman said on Saturday that the army would provide safe passage and legal treatment for all “terrorists wishing to surrender in Darna” in eastern Libya.
“Dignity Operations Chamber (of the army) announces that its units provide safe passage and legal treatment for terrorists who want to surrender and choose to spare the city of Darna the scourge of war,” Army spokesman Ahmad Mismari said in a statement later on Saturday.
“The Air Force targeted and completely destroyed the operations chamber of the terrorist groups in the city of Darna,” Mismari added.
“The military units tasked with clearing Darna from terrorism have not and will not target vital installations,” the spokesman said, holding the militants in the city responsible for bombing and booby-trapping vital installations.
Local media published images of a bridge blown up by explosive devices. The army and the militants exchanged accusations of being responsible for the bombing.
The army is launching a military operation to take over Darna from the militants who control the coastal city.
Since 2015, Darna has been besieged by the army, which demands that the Shura Council of the Mujahideen in Darna, a coalition of Islamist militias seeking to implement Sharia law in the city, to leave. The army accused the armed group of being loyal to al-Qaida.
Humanitarian coordinator of the UN Support Mission in Libya Maria Ribeiro on Thursday called on the army to allow humanitarian aid to enter Darna.