• France's news in English
Libya armed groups urge fight against French troops
Dozens of protesters rallied Friday outside the GNA’s former headquarters in a Tripoli navy base. Photo: AFP

Libya armed groups urge fight against French troops

AFP · 23 Jul 2016, 13:20

Published: 23 Jul 2016 13:20 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The call by militias in the second city of Benghazi came after French President Francois Hollande confirmed on Wednesday that his country has soldiers in Libya.

Hollande made the announcement after three French troops were killed in Libya during a mission to gather intelligence.

His remarks sparked anti-French protests in several Libyan cities, while the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) said the presence of foreign troops was a “violation” of Libya’s sovereignty.

A military commander allied with a rival government based in eastern Libya has said that French troops along with US and British soldiers were in Libya to “monitor” Islamic State group jihadists.

The extremist group seized the Libyan coastal city of Sirte in June last year, raising fears that it is establishing a new stronghold on Europe’s doorstep.

The armed groups, known as the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, urged Libyans to rise up against the deployment of foreign troops in the chaos-wracked country.

“We call on all the Libyan people to mobilise and defend their (Muslim) religion… and expel” all foreign troops from Libya, a statement said.

The French military presence in Libya is tantamount to a “crusader’s invasion”, it added.

Dozens of protesters rallied Friday outside the GNA’s former headquarters in a Tripoli navy base and called on authorities to boycott French firms.

The Pentagon said in May that it had a “small presence” in Libya tasked with trying to identify which groups might be able to assist the United States in its mission to combat IS.

British media reported in May that British special forces had taken part in combat missions against IS in the country’s northeast.

Story continues below…

Rival militias in Libya have been vying for power since the overthrow of veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

Amid the chaos, the GNA, which is the result of a UN-backed power-sharing agreement in December, has been striving to assert its authority.

Troops loyal to the unity government are battling to recapture Sirte from IS.

Benghazi meanwhile has seen bloody battles for more than two years between armed groups, including jihadists, and forces loyal to the internationally recognised parliament, which has yet to endorse the GNA.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

How Paris is rapidly becoming Europe's 'City of Innovation'
Photo: AFP

If you want to start a company then Paris is the place to do it, it seems.

'Jungle' clearance: Migrants begin to leave Calais camp
All photos: AFP

The "Jungle" clearance is underway.

France's 'Jungle' children arrive in UK
Authorities will start to clear the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp on Monday. Photo: Denis Charlet / AFP file picture

The first group of children from the French "Jungle" migrant camp with no connection to Britain have arrived in the country, the Home Office said Sunday, ahead of the camp's planned demolition.

French FM calls for end to Aleppo 'massacre'
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says the international community cannot ‘come to a negotiation under the bombs’. Photo: Dominick Reuter / AFP file picture

France's foreign minister urged the international community to "do everything" to end the "massacre" in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday after fighting resumed following a 72-hour truce declared by Damascus ally Russia.

Parisians cheer on protesting French police
French police officers on Saturday demonstrated for the fifth night in a row to protest mounting attacks on officers. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

Angry French police have taken to the streets for five nights in a row -- and Parisians have started to cheer them on, reviving scenes last seen following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015.

Scarlett Johansson turns popcorn girl in Paris
US actress Scarlett Johansson greets customers at the Yummy Pop gourmet popcorn shop in the Marais district of Paris. Photo: Benjamin Cremel / AFP

Hollywood superstar Scarlett Johansson swapped the red carpet for a turn behind the counter at her new popcorn shop in Paris on Saturday.

US couple donates huge art collection to Paris
Marlene (centre) and Spencer (right) are donating their collection ‘for the benefit of art lovers’. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

A Texan couple who discovered their love for art during a trip to Paris in the 1970s are to donate the multi-million dollar collection they have amassed since to the French capital.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
jobs available