Libyan flights from Turkey, Jordan to make security stop in east

February 24, 2015 17:43

CAIRO/BAYDA, Libya - Egypt is forcing Libyan airliners flying between Turkey and Jordan and the capital Tripoli to stop in eastern Libya to allow the country's internationally recognized government to screen out potential Islamist fighters, officials said.

The move underscores Egypt's engagement in Libya to bolster the weak official government, holed up in the east since it lost control of the capital, in its fight against Islamist militants exploiting the chaos that followed the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Egyptian jets bombed suspected Islamist militant targets in the eastern Libyan city of Derna last week after Islamic State released a video showing the execution of 21 Egyptian Copts.

Libya's internationally recognized prime minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, accuses a rival government and parliament controlling Tripoli of having ties to radical Islamists, charges they deny.

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