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Pilot Survives Again After Libyan Plane Shot Down

A Turkish F-16 fighter jet takes off from Incirlik airbase in the southern city of Adana, Turkey, in this July 27, 2015 file picture. Turkish F-16 fighter jets shot down a war plane of unknown origin on November 24, 2015 after it violated Turkish air space close to the Syrian border and ignored warnings, a Turkish military official told Reuters.  REUTERS/Murad Sezer/Files

Libya’s air force chief of staff says a fighter jet was shot down while carrying out airstrikes against Islamic militants, the third jet to be downed in nearly 40 days.

Brigadier General Saqr al-Jaroushi told The Associated Press that a Libyan MIG32 came under fire by militants’ anti-aircraft guns in the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday. He says the pilot ejected and landed safely. The pilot has been rescued before in a similar incident on January 4.

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Al-Jaroushi said army is investigating whether “terrorists have acquired new weapons capable of shooting down our planes”.

The air force answers to the internationally-recognised government in eastern Libya, where forces have been fighting Islamic militants since 2014. In western Libya a rival parliament, backed by Islamist-allied militias, is in control.

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