Libya unity govt says Russian mercenaries evacuating May 26, 2020 0 484 12345 AFPTripoliForces backing Libya’s UN-recognised government said Monday that hundreds of Russian mercenaries fighting for rival military commander Khalifa Haftar had been evacuated from combat zones south of the capital Tripoli.The claim comes after a series of setbacks for Haftar’s year-long offensive to seize the capital from the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord.“An Antonov 32 military cargo plane landed at Bani Walid airport to resume the evacuation of Wagner (Group) mercenaries who had fled southern Tripoli, to an as-yet unconfirmed destination,” pro-GNA forces wrote on Twitter.There was no immediate response by Haftar’s forces to the GNA’s claims on Monday.Several countries including Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey have been accused of involvement in the battle between the GNA and Haftar’s forces.Last month, in a report sent to the Security Council, United Nations experts corroborated US media reports that the Wagner Group, a shadowy Russian paramilitary organisation seen as close to President Vladimir Putin, had sent fighters to back Haftar.The Kremlin has always denied involvement.Pro-GNA forces, with growing support from Turkey, have chalked up a series of victories in recent weeks largely thanks to their air superiority.They said Saturday they had seized three barracks south of the capital.Turkey has acknowledged sending fighters to support the GNA in Libya, but has not specified how many.Pro-GNA forces said Monday some “1,500 to 1,600 mercenaries” had fled from the frontlines in Tripoli to Bani Walid, around 145 kilometres southeast of the capital.They said the previous day seven cargo planes had landed at the town’s airport, bringing in munitions and weaponry and evacuating the fleeing fighters.A video broadcast on the Tripoli-based Libya al-Ahrar television channel showed armed men boarding an Antonov 23-type military cargo plane. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Afghan govt frees Taliban prisoners as truce holds for second day May 26, 2020 0 1449 Iran reopens key shrines after two-month virus closure May 26, 2020 0 507 First Iranian oil tanker docks in Venezuela May 26, 2020 0 60 6-year-old discovers millenia-old clay tablet in Israel Tel Aviv A 6-year-old discovered a 3,500-year-old clay tablet described as unique by archaeologists during an outing with his parents in southern Israel. The family was walking near the village of Re’im in southern .. Eight foreign sailors freed after Benin kidnapping Lagos Eight foreign crew members kidnapped from a Singapore-owned container ship off Benin’s coast in April have been freed and are undergoing medical checks, the Nigerian navy said on Monday. German shipping firm .. Burundi’s opposition contests ruling party’s win in early results DPA Bujumbura Burundi’s main opposition has already refuted the results of the general elections after the ruling party was announced the provisional winner on Monday. The Independent National Electoral Commission .. Mauritius records 2 new COVID-19 cases after month-long lull AFP Port Louis Two residents of Mauritius who were recently repatriated from India have tested positive for COVID-19, the country’s first cases in nearly a month, the government announced late Sunday. The Indian Ocean .. Top Egypt medical union warns of health system ‘collapse’ AFP Cairo Egypt’s top medical union on Monday warned of a “complete collapse” of the country’s health system, accusing the health ministry of negligence in failing to protect healthcare workers from coronavirus. “The ..