On October 31, at least 17 people were killed and more than 30 wounded in an air strike in the eastern Libyan city of Derna, according to reprots in various sources.
It is not clear which country or group was behind the airstrikes. The city itself is now besieged by forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar. He’s the self-styled chief of Libyan National Army (LNA).
Between 2011 and 2014, Derna was in the hands of Ansar al-Sharia, a militant group close to al-Qaeda. But by the end of 2014, the city was seized by jihadists who defected from this group and joined ISIS [the Islamic State]. The Mujahideen Shura Council, which is currently in de facto control of Derna, took the city from them in 2015. Now, LNA troops are attempting to retake the city from militants. Hatfar forces have been also carrying out air raids in the region.
The LNA is backed by Egypt, France and the government based in the eastern city of Tobruk.
Egypt sees Haftar and its forces as an important tool that would allow to secure the western Egyptian border. So far, various militant groups have been very active in the area. The Egyptian Air Force conducts airstrikes on vehicles illegally crossing the border on a constant basis.