Libyan military jet shot down near Benghazi

The MiG-23 flown by forces loyal to Libya's recognised government is the second to go down in the past week.

    A Soviet-made MIG-23 fighter seen during the Libyan Army Officers 5th Forum in 2015 [Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images]
    A Soviet-made MIG-23 fighter seen during the Libyan Army Officers 5th Forum in 2015 [Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images]

    A MiG-23 fighter jet flown by Libya's internationally recognised government was shot down as it carried out air strikes on opposition positions in the coastal city of Benghazi.

    Nasser el-Hassi, spokesman for the government's forces, told AFP news agency the plane was shot down in Qaryunes, northwest Benghazi, as it bombed targets on Friday.

    A military source said the pilot survived, having parachuted to safety, but his whereabouts were not immediately clear. It was the second military air crash this week.

    Brigade General Saqr al-Jaroushi, a Libyan military official, also confirmed the incident to the Associated Press.

    On Monday, another MiG-23 operated by forces loyal to Libya's recognised government crashed near the eastern city of Derna after attacking fighter positions.

    The LANA news agency, which is close to the recognised government, blamed "technical problems" for the downing.

    Before crashing, the fighter had carried out raids on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positions about 15km from Derna.

    Two administrations are vying for power in war-ravaged Libya, one based in the capital Tripoli backed by a coalition of fighters, and the recognised government, exiled in the east.

    In early January, another MiG-23 came down in Benghazi, the main city in the east.

    The air force answers to the internationally recognised government in the east of the country, where its soldiers have been fighting armed groups since 2014. 

    Chaos has engulfed Libya since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, and has fostered the rise of ISIL, which based itself in Sirte in eastern Libya.

     Inside Story - A breakthrough in Libya?

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.