Local media sources reported on Monday, October 19, that at least one civilian was killed in a suspected airstrike near the Butnan District town of Jaghbub, close to the border with Egypt. Those targeted were reportedly part of a small falcon hunting party which had strayed close to the border, although it remains unclear how close they were to the frontier when hit by the airstrike. Whilst media reporting only identified one fatality from the incident, local sources reported that a second person had also been killed in the strike.
Further security operations are likely along the eastern border with Egypt in the medium term.
Although there has so far been no claim of responsibility for the airstrike, Egyptian forces have frequently carried out air patrols in an effort to secure the porous border with Libya. Airstrikes have periodically been launched against vehicles and convoys attempting to cross the border into Egypt's Western Desert, with authorities claiming that those targeted were linked to arms smuggling. However, several local civilians and foreign tourists have also been mistakenly targeted in airstrikes after straying close to the border.
Those in Libya's eastern desert region should be aware of the risks associated with travel in border areas and are advised to monitor the situation in their particular area of operations through a range of multi-source intelligence advisories.
The security environment in Libya remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas (with appropriate security protocols in place), other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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