Libya militia ‘shoots down warplane’

Troops loyal to Libyan militia leader General Khalifa Haftar say they have shot down a warplane and captured its pilot, whom they allege is a foreign “mercenary”.

Images and videos posted on social media purportedly show the pilot in blood-splattered clothes, and with an apparent wound to the head.

Gen Haftar’s Libya National Army (LNA) said the Mirage F1 was downed in Al-Hira region, some 70km (43 miles) south of the capital, Tripoli.

In a video posted by a pro-LNA website, the pilot said he was a 29-year-old “from Portugal”.

Portugal’s Defence Ministry could not confirm his nationality, Reuters news agency reported.

“For now the only thing we can say is that he is not a Portuguese soldier,” a ministry spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

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