CAIRO (AP) – Forces loyal to a powerful Libyan commander said two military jets crashed Sunday in a village in eastern Libya, killing at least two officers.
The so-called Libyan Arab Armed Forces, led by General Khalifa Hifter, said the helicopters crashed in midair over the village of Msus, 130 kilometers (about 81 miles) southeast of Benghazi city.
A crew of two officers, including Brigadier General Bouzied al-Barrasi, died in the crash, while the second helicopter crew survived, the LAAF said in a brief statement. The statement did not give the cause of the accident and said the helicopters were on a military mission.
Mohammad Younes Menfi, head of the Libyan Presidential Council, mourned the death of the two officers.
Hifter’s forces control eastern and most of southern Libya. The crash occurred as have been fighting Chadian fighters in the southern parts of Libya on the border with Chad.
Clashes broke out last week and could further destabilize the Sahel region as a whole, after Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno was assassinated in April in battles between his government and Chadian rebels.