May 27, 2014 / 6:25 PM / 3 years ago

Libyan militant leader warns US against interference

BENGHAZI, Libya, May 27 (Reuters) - The leader of Libya's Ansar al-sharia militant group in Benghazi warned the United States on Tuesday against interfering in the country's crisis or face worse than their conflicts in Somalia, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

Mohamed Zahawi, head of the Benghazi brigade of Ansar al-Sharia, accused the U.S. government of backing renegade former general Khalifa Haftar, who has begun a self-declared campaign to purge Libya of Islamist militants.

"We remind America, if they intervene, of their defeats in Afganistan, Iraq and Somalia, because they would face in Libya something much worse," he said in a statement. "It was America who urged Haftar to turn the country towards war and bloodshed." (Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli and Feras Bosalum; writing by Patrick Markey, editing by Mark Heinrich)

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