Libyan pro-Haftar forces hold positions south of Benghazi (Credit: AFP).

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 P.M.) – On Monday, the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) claimed responsibility for an attack targeting the security gate of the Libyan National Army (LN)A, which is led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, in the southern district of Trajan.

The terrorist organization said through its official media wing that the attack, which occurred two days ago, was carried out by an explosive device planted at the entrance of the Battalion 628 infantry base, resulting in the destruction of a military vehicle.

In the meantime, Reuters news agency quoted the local military commander as saying that the explosives were hidden in a vehicle belonging to the Libyan National Army forces, stressing that the explosion did not result in casualties.

This attack is the second of its kind that has targeted the Libyan National Army in the last few days, with a previous attack targeting three locations in the southern part of the country.

The new attack also comes hours after the Libyan National Army announced Sunday evening the arrest of a leader of the organization, Muhammad al-Ruwaidani, also known as “Abu Bakr al-Ruwaidani”, who was said to have moved from Syria and fought in the ranks of the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

ISIS announced responsibility for these attacks, months after the absence of any reports on its operations in Libya.

A military source in the Libyan National Army told Reuters that the terrorist group’s activities are increasing in southern Libya after the arrest of the aforementioned leader.

The resumption of ISIS activities has led some experts to believe that LNA’s forces are now facing a new enemy represented by the organization.

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ISIS was active in Libya after the unrest that followed the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, and took control of the coastal city of Sirte in 2015, but lost it in late 2016 in a fight with local forces backed by US airstrikes.

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