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Libyan eastern-based army claims shooting down rival gov’t warplane

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“Anti-missiles of Jufra airbase managed to shoot down a fighter jet of the terrorist militias (government forces) trying to strike the base this morning,’’ the army’s spokesman Ahmad al-Mismari said in a statement.

The fighter jet was with two other planes that fled afterwards, al-Mismari said, adding that search was underway for the downed plane and pilot.

The Jufra district, located some 650 km southeast of the capital Tripoli, is controlled by the army.

The eastern-based army, led by Khalifa Haftar, has been leading a military campaign since early April to take over Tripoli from the government.

The fighting so far has killed over 260 people, injured over 12,000 others, and forced over 20,000 people to flee their homes, according to the World Health Organisation.

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