World Bulletin / News Desk
The Mujahideen Shura Council, which is in de facto control of Libya's eastern Darnah city, said that it has no links with the ISIL militant group.
"Our loyalty is, first and foremost, to Libya," a spokesman for the group told The Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.
"We have no relation with the ISIL in Syria and Iraq nor are we connected to the alleged ISIL affiliate in Sirte city," he said.
The spokesman denied recent media reports that his group had sworn allegiance to the ISIL's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Iraq.
Sites said to belong to the ISIL in Darnah were the target of airstrikes launched on Monday by Egyptian army forces, which came following the decapitation of 21 Egyptian Christians held hostage by ISIL-affiliated militants in Libya.
"We have nothing to do with the slain Egyptian hostages," the spokesman said of his group.
"I do not understand why [Egypt] targeted Darnah when the abduction of the Egyptian hostages had taken place in the western region, hundreds of kilometers away from here."
He said that residents of Darnah were "mourning the death of innocents" following the Egyptian airstrikes.
He went on to say that his group's fighters were prepared for any future scenario but he maintained that a ground intervention by Egypt would be unlikely, attributing his assumption to the "nature of the region and the magnitude of resistance" Egypt would face if it decided to stage a ground intervention.
Fractious Libya has remained a source of concern for neighboring Egypt since it descended into violence and chaos following Gaddafi's departure in 2011.
Last month, the Egyptian government – citing security concerns – banned citizens from travelling to Libya.
A Libyan official had said that last November that a group called the Shura Council of Islamic Youth in Darnah declared its allegiance to the ISIL's al-Baghdadi.
No talk of military intervention in Libya: Egypt
Meanwhile, Egypt's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that there is no talk of a military intervention in crisis-hit Libya.
"There is an Arab draft resolution for enabling the legitimate Libyan government to fight terrorism, restore stability, uproot terrorist organizations and enforce security," ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati said in a statement.
"There is no talk about seeking military intervention in Libya," he said.
The UN Security Council is set to hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Libya, which has descended into violence and chaos following the ouster of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Arab countries are expected to ask the world body to lift an arms embargo on weapons sales to Libya's internationally recognized government for its fight against militants.
"The draft resolution focuses on providing support for the legitimate Libyan government for fighting terrorism and enforcing law and order as well as tightening the ban on arms sales to Takfiri, extremist and radical groups," Abdel-Ati said.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday called for a UN Security Council resolution allowing international forces to intervene in Libya.Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Şubat 2015, 22:48