France - Libya

France detains two trying to join IS in Libya

France has detained two men trying to join the Islamic State armed group in Libya, the first time people have been caught going to fight for IS in the north African country. Two French citizens, aged 19 and 20, who told authorities they were on their way to training camp so they could fight in Syria, were arrested in southern Tunisia.

A Nato bombardement of Sirte in October
A Nato bombardement of Sirte in October Reuters/Anis Mili

The suspects were flown to France on 13 November, the day of the Paris attacks.

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The two men, one from Lyon and the other from the southern port of Marseille, did not know each other before meeting up in Tunisia, a judicial source said.

The 20-year-old girlfriend of one of the men, a convert to Islam who authorities said had at one stage intended to join her partner in Libya, has also been charged with terrorist offences.

The Libyan city of Sirte is the first to fall to IS outside Iraq and Syria with the armed Islamist group profiting from the chaos that has followed the fall of Moamer Kadhafi.

Libya is "incontestably" the major challenge for the next few months, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday.

The West's "responsibility was to have not followed up on the intervention" that toppled Kadhafi, he told Europe 1 radio.

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