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Spokesman: Libyan Strongman's Forces Control South

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A spokesman for the forces of a Libyan strongman based in the country's east says his self-styled Libyan National Army has seized control of Libya's southern border with Algeria.

The spokesman, Ahmed al-Mesmari, says Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter's troops entered several southern towns, including Ghat and Awaynat, the previous week.

The advances are the latest in an operation Hifter announced in January to “eliminate gangs, Islamic State terrorists and criminals” in the south.

The spokesman says Hifter's forces now control all Libya's borders except the one to the west.

Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that overthrew and killed long-ruling dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The country is currently governed by rival authorities in Tripoli and the east, each backed by an array of militias.