Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar is being treated in Paris after feeling unwell during a foreign tour and is expected to return to Libya within days, a spokesman said.
“Marshall Haftar felt ill while in Paris during a visit to several foreign states and will return to the homeland soon after medical treatment,” Ahmed al-Mismari, a spokesman for Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), told Reuters.
Mismari’s twitter feed also posted messages in English and French saying Haftar had undergone “normal check-ups”, and he would return to Libya “within a few days to continue the fight against terrorism”.
The previous tweet on the feed, posted as reports started spreading Haftar had suffered a health scare, said such news was false and Haftar was in “excellent health” and commanding his troops.
The reports sparked a flurry of rumours about Haftar’s condition. Anonymous Libyan and French sources said last week Haftar was in Paris for treatment.
Haftar (75) is the dominant figure in eastern Libya and has long been seen as a likely contender for power nationally.
His LNA is aligned with a government based in the east which opposes a rival, internationally backed government in Tripoli.
On Friday, UN Libya envoy Ghassan Salame and several Libyan officials said they spoke to Haftar telephonically.