(Adds background in paragraphs 3 and 5)
WASHINGTON May 20 The U.S. State Department
said on Tuesday it does not support, condone or assist in recent
actions by forces loyal to renegade Libyan general Khalifa
Haftar, including the attack on Libya's parliament.
"We have not had contact with him recently. We do not
condone or support the actions on the ground, nor have we
assisted with these actions," department spokeswoman Jen Psaki
told reporters at her daily briefing. "We are continuing to call
on all parties to refrain from violence and to seek resolution
through peaceful means."
Gunmen shelled Libya's General National Congress on Sunday
in an attack claimed by forces loyal to renegade general Khalifa
Haftar, who said it was part of a campaign to purge the North
African country of Islamists.
Haftar's troops on Friday attacked Islamist militants in
Benghazi, killing more than 70 people, in the worst clashes in
the eastern city for months. Western powers fear Haftar's
campaign will split the Libyan army, further destabilizing the
country, after several units defected to him in recent days.
The struggle takes place against a background of growing
chaos in Libya, where the government is unable to control dozens
of militias who helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now defy
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by James Dalgleish and