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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - An armed alliance involved in a three-week battle over the Libyan migrant smuggling hub of Sabratha said it had taken control of the coastal city on Friday.

A group called the Operations Room and its allies have been fighting the Anas al-Dabbashi brigade, a major facilitator of migrant smuggling that recently struck a deal with the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli to stop boats from leaving for Italy.

"Sabratha city has been liberated from the militias -- the Dabbashi militias and their alliance," said Operations Room spokesman Saleh Graisia. "Now the city is fully controlled by the Operations Room."

"The militias have escaped to the west... The military engineering unit is working to defuse booby traps inside the city." The claim could not be independently verified.

(Reporting by Ahmed Elumami; Writing by Aidan Lewis)

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