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Libyan factions sign deal to form unity government

File photo: Libyans celebrate the fourth anniversary of the fall of Gaddafi earlier this year. Credit: Reuters

Libya's warring factions have signed a UN-brokered deal to form a national government, in a move that western leaders hope will help in the fight against so-called Islamic State.

Four years after the fall of dictator Gaddafi, Libya remains deeply split with two rival governments - a self-declared one in Tripoli and an internationally recognised one in the east of the country.

Despite the signing, the heads of both rival parliaments and factions in both camps have rejected the agreement outright.

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Global powers back national unity government in Libya

Global powers have backed the formation of a national unity government in Libya, pledging economic and security support to help stabilise the chaotic North African country where Islamic State militants have a foothold.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni, joined by U.N. envoy Martin Kobler, were optimistic that the majority of the representatives of Libya's two rival governments would sign a unity deal on December 16.

We stand ready to support the implementation of the political agreement and underline our firm commitment to providing the Government of National Accord with full political backing and technical, economic, security and counter-terrorism assistance, as requested.

– Joint statement from 17 countries

Representatives from 17 countries including Egypt, Germany, Russia, Turkey, and China signed a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire.

They promised to cut off contacts with factions that do not sign the deal.

Kerry: Two rival Libyan governments ready to agree

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said the majority of factions in Libya were ready to sign an agreement

Kerry told reporters that most representatives of the two rival governments currently in power in Libya "have come together and are ready to sign an agreement, and they refuse to be blocked by one or two people or individual politics.

According to a statement, seventeen countries met in Rome for a final push of UN-led negotiations for the formation of a unity government in Libya, promising political, economic and security backing.

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US airstrikes 'kills Islamic State leader in Libya'

US Air Force F15E Strike Eagle jets were used in the raid (file photo). Credit: Reuters

A US airstrike has killed Islamic State's top man in Libya, the Pentagon has announced.

The target of the air raid was was named as “Abu Nabil, aka Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi, an Iraqi national who was a long-time al-Qaida operative”.

US high command say Nabil's death will "will degrade [Isis’s] ability to meet the group’s objectives in Libya”.

"While not the first US strike against terrorists in Libya, this is the first US strike against an Isil leader in Libya and it demonstrates we will go after IS leaders wherever they operate," a Pentagon spokesman said.

Libya confirms identity of two new Lockerbie suspects

The Libyan government has confirmed the identity of two new suspects in the investigation into the Lockbie bombing.

The suspects - left to right - have been named as Mohammed Abu Ejaila, otherwise known as Abu Agila Mas'ud and Abdulla al-Senussi. Credit: ITV News

A spokesman for the government in Tripoli named the Libyan pair as Abdullah al-Senussi, Colonel Gaddafi's former spy chief, and Mohammed Abu Ejaila, who was named widely in earlier reports as Abu Agila Mas'ud.

The Tripoli official said the Libyan attorney general's office had not been officially informed about the two suspects.

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