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Libya Unity Govt. Says it Wants Warplanes to Fight IS

Libya's unity government called Tuesday for warplanes and helicopters to fight jihadists as it hailed international support for granting it an exemption to a longstanding embargo on weapons sales.

On Monday, the United States, Italy and Libya's allies and neighbors agreed in Vienna to arm the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) to confront the threat from the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

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U.S. Ready to Loosen Libya Arms Embargo

The U.S. government is ready to loosen a ban on arms exports to Libya, in a bid to help the country's fledgling unity government fight the Islamic State group, officials and diplomats told AFP Thursday.

Under White House-backed plans, the United Nations would carve out exemptions to an embargo introduced by the Security Council in 2011, during Moammar Gadhafi's failed attempt to suppress a popular uprising.

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Libya Unity Government Vows to End Jihadist 'Scourge'

The head of Libya's unity government has announced plans for a concerted campaign to drive the Islamic State group out of the North African country, but without foreign intervention.

In remarks marking almost 30 days since his arrival in Tripoli to assert the authority of the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj also appealed for a united Libya.

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Kidnapped Serbian Worker in Libya Released

A Serbian employee of a German company who was kidnapped at the weekend in a remote part of Libya was released Wednesday, the foreign ministry in Belgrade said.

"Miroslav Tomic, 46, employed by German firm Ferrostaal and kidnapped on Sunday afternoon... was freed today," a ministry statement said citing the Serbian embassy in Tripoli, without giving details about the kidnappers.

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Serbian Worker kidnapped in Libya

A Serbian worker has been kidnapped in Libya, Belgrade's foreign ministry said Tuesday, two months after the deaths of two abducted Serbian embassy employees in the North African country.

State broadcaster RTS named the man as 46-year-old Miroslav Tomic, an employee of a German company, who was seized on Saturday while visiting an oil well in a remote area of the lawless country near the border with Egypt.

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NATO to Close Libya Migrant Route to Europe

NATO is ten weeks away from launching a naval mission off Libya as part of a controversial U.S.-backed plan to close the Western Mediterranean migrant route to Europe, officials said Monday.

The advanced state of preparations for the operation was revealed by Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti as leaders of the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Italy met in Germany.

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Libya Unity Government Seeks EU Accord on Migrants

Libya's Vice President Ahmed Maetig has expressed hope that the European Union will enter into an agreement with his country similar to that between the EU and Turkey restricting the flow of migrants to Europe.

Maetig made the appeal while in Rome meeting with Italy's Interior Minister Angelino Alfano.

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Eight Dead, nearly 20 Missing in New Migrant Boat Tragedy Off Libya

At least eight African migrants, and possibly as many as 27, died in a new boat tragedy off the coast of Libya, a search and rescue organization said Monday.

French charity SOS Mediterranee said its boat, the Aquarius, had rescued 108 migrants from a stricken dinghy in high seas on Sunday.

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First Clashes in Tripoli since U.N.-Backed Government's Arrival

Clashes broke out in Tripoli on Saturday night just hours after a visit by the French and German foreign ministers in the first outbreak of violence since the arrival of the U.N.-backed government two weeks ago.

Gunfire and small explosions could be heard in the Hay el-Andalous area north of the capital and continued for about 30 minutes, an AFP correspondent said, adding that there was still sporadic gunfire and the sound of ambulance sirens.

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European Envoys Visit Libya for First Time since 2014

A group of European ambassadors flew into Libya's capital Thursday for the first time since 2014 to support the unity government's struggle to end years of chaos exploited by jihadists.

French ambassador Antoine Sivan, Peter Millett of Britain and Spain's Jose Antonio Bordallo held talks with the Government of National Accord (GNA) at the Tripoli naval base where it has set up operations.

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