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Libya resists Western intervention, as French troops watch border

France’s president says French troops south of Libya are ready to strike extremists crossing the border, but the speaker of Libya’s internationally recognized parliament spoke out on Monday against any Western military intervention in his country.

International concern has been mounting over Libya, which is mired in the worst fighting since dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown in 2011, leaving the country with two rival governments.

French President Francois Hollande urged the United Nations to take action to stem growing violence in the North African country, and the transit of arms from Libya to militant groups around the Sahel region.

“We are making sure to contain the terrorism that took refuge there, in southern Libya. But France will not intervene in Libya because it’s up to the international community to take its responsibility,” Hollande said on France-Inter radio.

While Hollande ruled out unilateral intervention inside Libya, he said French forces will strike Islamic extremists “every time they leave these places where they are hiding.”

To do that, France is setting up a military base in northern Niger, 100 kilometers from the lawless Libyan border region. About 200 troops are deployed in the desert outpost at Madama. French and US drones are already operating out of Niger’s capital, Niamey.
Agencies

Agencies

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