So-called Libyan armed forces led by renegade general Khalifa Haftar have started a military operation in western Al-Kufra city - southeastern Libya, the forces' spokesman Ahmed Al-Mismari announced.

Al-Mismari said on his Facebook page that the operation - named Desert Fury - will target criminal gangs working in abduction and banditry in southeastern Libya.

"Our air force targeted the gangs and caused them a massive damage after they had killed six of 106 Brigade fighters." He added, referring to fighters working under the command of Haftar's son, Khalid.

Al-Mismari also cited the commander of Al-Kufra military zone Al-Mabrouk Al-Ghazwi as saying that they had sent patrols in every direction in order to impede any movement for the Sudanese Justice and Equality groups, "who are looting in the desert then retreating westward," he added.

"Warplanes had been positioned in Al-Kufra airbase to pave the way for possible airstrikes targeting the gangs. They managed thus far to destroy all the gangs' vehicles and the gangs members." Al-Ghazwi explained.

Meanwhile, an airstrike by Haftar-led air force targeted Thursday an armed convoy from Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement near Al-Kufra as a retaliatory act to the killing of six fighters from 106 Brigade led by Khalid Haftar.

Those six fighters were killed and a seventh was missing in Jaghbub oasis after clashing with African mercenaries who were on the side of Haftar's forces before turning on them.