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Libyan faction claims it shot down 'Portuguese' pilot in battle for Tripoli

Telegraph News 07 May 2019 05:49

The east Libyan faction that launched an assault on Tripoli last month said it had shot down and captured a European mercenary flying an attack jet for the internationally recognized government.

The Libyan National Army, which fighting rivals militias allied with the country's UN-supported government, said it shot down a fighter jet the man was flying south of the capital on Monday.  

The media unit of the LNA released photographs and video of a wounded man being interrogated in English on Tuesday afternoon. One picture showed an LNA commander, Abdulsalam al-Hassi, standing behind him. 

In footage published by pro-LNA media, the man gives name that sounds like "Jimmy Reese." He says he is 29 years old, from Portugal, and that he was flying on a "civilian contract" to "destroy roads and bridges." 

Asked who recruited him, he said he signed a contract with a man called Hadi but did not know his second name. 

"For now the only thing we can say is that he is not a Portuguese soldier," a ministry spokeswoman told Reuters

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Guiseppe ConteJimmy ReeseGNAassaultTripoli
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