Families Sue Libyan Commander Who Once Lived in Virginia - NBC4 Washington

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Families Sue Libyan Commander Who Once Lived in Virginia

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    Families Sue Libyan Commander Who Once Lived in Virginia
    MCT via Getty Images
    Gen. Khalifa Hifter, the then-newly named leader of the Libyan army, met with former army officers on Wednesday, September 14, 2011, in Zawiyah, 25 miles east of Tripoli. Hifter is a former Gadhafi officer who spent 24 years in exile in Virginia before returning to Libya earlier this year. (David Enders/MCT via Getty Images)

    A Libyan-American who once lived in Northern Virginia and now commands an army vying for control of his native country has been accused in a civil lawsuit of war crimes.

    The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Libyan family members who say their loved ones were killed when forces controlled by Khalifa Hifter conducted bombings in civilian neighborhoods.

    Hifter was once a lieutenant to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. But he defected during the 1980s and spent many years living in exile in Northern Virginia, where he became a U.S. citizen.

    After the country plunged into civil war, Hifter returned to Libya. He now leads the self-styled Libyan National Army, which controls the eastern part of that north African country. He launched an effort to capture Tripoli, its capital, earlier this year.

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