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Libya’s east-based army on Monday accused “subversive” elements of the rival UN-backed government of attempting to destabilize the security in the south of the country.

Local media reported that clashes erupted between forces of the UN-backed government based in capital Tripoli and a military unit of the east-based army in the southern city of Sabha on Sunday.

“The Sabha Military Zone spotted movements of subversive elements of the so-called Presidential Council (of UN-backed government),” said Ahmad al-Mismari, spokesman of the east-based army, in a statement.

“Those elements in fact received orders from the Turkish intelligence that leads operations to support the Muslim Brotherhood and Takfiri gangs,” al-Mismari added. “Information confirmed that those elements received funds from Tripoli to destabilize the security of southern Libya, especially Sabha, and recruit foreign mercenaries,” the statement noted.

The spokesman confirmed that the east-based army in Sabha had taken over the headquarters of the UN-backed government’s forces in the city.

The UN-backed Libyan government has made no comment yet on the accusation from east-based army. The east-based army and the UN-backed government had been engaged in a deadly armed conflict for more than a year in and around Tripoli, which ended in early June 2020 when the UN-backed government announced its takeover of all western Libya after withdrawal of the east-based army.

On Oct. 23, 2020, the Libyan delegations to the 5+5 Joint Military Commission talks in Geneva signed a UN-sponsored permanent cease-fire agreement.

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