The head of the High Council of State (HCS), Khaled Al-Mashri, says that more than 7,000 fighters of the Russian Wagner mercenary group who support Haftar's militia are still present in Libya.

Al-Mishri made his comments during a dialogue session with an array of journalists and activists in one of the Club House application rooms on Saturday.

"Wagner had dug trenches in Sirte and Al-Jufra and has 30 jet planes grounded at the largest military bases in Sirte and Al-Jufra," Al-Mishri said.

The Russians are looking for a foothold in North Africa and have found it in Libya, he added, indicating that Wagner has succeeded in bringing in a president for Central Africa and is now seeking to expand its influence in the whole region from Chad to the Mediterranean.