Libyan eastern-based army announces shooting down gov't fighter jet

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-08 00:34:18|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

TRIPOLI, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Libya's eastern-based army on Tuesday announced shooting down a fighter jet of the rival UN-backed government and capturing the pilot in the south of the capital Tripoli.

"A Mirage F1 fighter jet of the militia group (government forces) has been taken down after trying to target our armed forces," the army's information office said in a statement.

"The fighter jet was taken down in al-Hira axis (southern Tripoli) and the pilot has been captured," the statement said, confirming that the pilot is "of Portuguese nationality."

The information office published images showing the captured pilot being surrounded by army officials and being medically treated.

This is the third time the army announces taking down a fighter jet of the government since the military action started early April.

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

According to the World Health Organization, the fighting has so far killed 432 people, injured 2,069 others, and forced more than 50,000 people to flee their homes.

Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid chaos since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.