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The New Arab

Hundred German troops will train Libyans to fight IS

German soldiers could train Libyan troops in Tunisia this year [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 January, 2016

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German and Italian soldiers look set to train the Libyan armed forces in its on going fight against Islamic State group extremists.

Germany is considering sending more than 100 troops to train the armed forces of Libya, which is in turmoil due to rival political administrations and Islamic State group attacks, Der Spiegel magazine reported Saturday.

"According to internal (government) plans German soldiers could, along with Italian colleagues, within months begin training the Libyan armed forces," the news magazine said.

"This would involve 150-200 Bundeswehr (German armed forces) troops," Der Spiegel added. There was no comment from the defence ministry.

The oil-rich north African country descended into chaos after the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Libya has had two governments since August 2014 - an Islamist administration in Tripoli and the internationally-recognised government in Torbuk.

The EU on Friday urged Libyan politicians to back a unity government, as the IS launched a devastating suicide bombing campaign that killed dozens and sparked fears of an extremist expansion on Europe's doorstep.

For security reasons the military training, on a model already used with the Kurds of northern Iraq, would take place in Tunisia rather than on Libyan soil.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet decided Wednesday to deploy an additional 550 troops to missions against extremist fighters in Mali and Iraq.

That decision must be approved by parliament where Merkel's coalition government enjoys a strong majority.

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