East Libyan forces reported Sunday that two helicopters were lost in a crash during a military operation, following days of battle with a formerly linked rebel group from Chad.
According to the Libyan Arab Armed Forces, which Gen. Khalifa Haftar is leading, the helicopters collided in the air over the village of Msus, 130 kilometers (about 81 miles) southeast of Benghazi.
Libyan National Army (LNA) special forces claimed in a statement that the two helicopters collided and crashed south of Benina airport during a military operation but did not specify if they were involved in the battle.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Younes Menfi, Libya’s Presidential Council leader, expressed condolences for the two officers’ deaths.
According to academics, Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) was based in Libya and fought alongside the LNA throughout Libya’s civil war, receiving heavy weapons from Haftar.
FACT pushed into northern Chad in April, defeating the local army.
According to Chadian authorities, President Idriss Deby, who ruled Chad for 30 years, was reportedly killed in the confrontations. His son has assumed the role of interim president.
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