Forces aligned with Libya’s GNA celebrate after taking control of Sabratha and Surman from renegade general Khalifa Haftar’s forces [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu]

Libya‘s internationally recognised government said its troops have seized control of two strategic coastal cities located between the capital, Tripoli, and the Tunisian border after expelling forces loyal to eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar.

“Our forces took control of Surman and Sabratha and are pursuing [Haftar’s forces],” Mohammed Gnunu, spokesperson of the Government of National Accord (GNA), said in a statement on Monday. 

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Libya, a large oil producer, has been engulfed in chaos since 2011 when longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in an uprising.

It is now split between two rival administrations: the Tripoli-based GNA, led by Prime Minister Fayez

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