By Libya Herald reporters.
Benghazi, 20 March 2017:
The road from Jufra to Sebha has been blocked as the Libyan National Army (LNA) mounts a fresh assault on the Tamenhint airbase held by the Misratan Third Force. However, reports that the LNA were also advancing on Sebha were denied by the town’s mayor.
The Libyan air force carried out a series of air strikes in advance of the assault which is being led by General Mohamed Ben Nayel. LNA sources have told the Libya Herald that armed forces commander-in-chief Khalifa Hafter had now deployed the 12th, 181th, 116th, 121th brigades for the advance.
The mayor of Sebha, Hamed Rafeh, told this newspaper that his town had so far been unaffected by the attack.
Nonetheless, he would be happy to see the Third Force pull out, he said, so long as the LNA present themselves as a fully-functioning, disciplined force capable of protecting Sebha’s population.
However, a Turkish citizen was abducted today outside the PVC factory in the town where he worked.
According to Buwabat Alwasat, the kidnappers demanded LD 20,000 which appears to have been paid very quickly, perhaps too quickly. The gang then refused to release the man, who has not been named, and instead demanded a new ransom of LD 200,000.