Libya: At least 12 killed and 87 injured in fighting in Tripoli

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Libya At least 12 people were killed and 87 wounded in the fighting in Tripoli

Six hospitals in Tripoli were damaged on Saturday as the militants clashed in deadly fighting overnight, raising fears of a new war in Libya.

Fighting broke out in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Saturday.

Reuters

Clashes erupted in several neighborhoods of Tripoli (west) between rival Libyan militias using light and heavy weapons. Libya) where gunfire and shelling rang out throughout the night. They continued on Saturday afternoon, reaching new neighborhoods, the AFP journalist noted. At least 12 people were killed and 87 wounded overnight in Tripoli overnight from Friday to Saturday, according to the Libyan Ministry of Health.

The fighting has been unprecedented since the failed June 2020 bid by eastern strongman Marshal Khalifa Haftar to take the capital militarily at the height of the Libyan civil war following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. Rule in 2011.

“war crimes”

Six hospitals have been hit by strikes, while ambulances have no access to war zones, the health minister announced, condemning “war crimes”.

The Tripoli-based government, backed by Khalifa Haftar, has blamed the clashes on a rival government camp, saying “negotiations must be held to avoid bloodshed in the capital”. The Ambulance and Rescue Service could not give a figure for “injured civilians” on Saturday morning.

“threat”

According to pictures posted online, the clashes caused extensive damage, with burnt cars and buildings riddled with bullets or set ablaze. The Tripoli-based government led by Abdelhamid Dbeibah has accused rival Prime Minister Fathi Bachagha, temporarily based in central Sirte, of “carrying out his threats” to seize the city.

Fathi Bachaka’s media office accused the Tripoli government of “clinging to power”, calling it “illegal”. He denied any negotiations with his rival for a treaty.

Local media reported that a coalition of pro-Pachaka fighters was en route to the capital from Misrata, a stronghold of the two rivals, 200 km to the east.

Urban fights

“War in an urban environment has its own logic, it harms civilian infrastructure and people, so even if it is not long, this conflict will be very destructive,” said Emetdin Badi, a researcher at the Center for Global Initiative Reflexivity. .

Since his appointment in February by a parliamentary session in the east, Fathi Bachaka has tried unsuccessfully to enter Tripoli to consolidate his power, recently threatening to use force to achieve this. Abdelhamid Dibeba, who heads an interim government, has repeatedly promised to cede power to an elected government.

Washington “concerned”

Tensions have risen in Tripoli in recent months between armed groups loyal to one or the other of the two leaders. On July 22, 16 people, including civilians, were killed and around 50 injured in the fighting. US Embassy in Tripoli, UN Libya It called for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” by condemning “clashes in civilian neighborhoods (…)”.

confusion

The government in Tripoli was born out of a process sponsored by the UN in early 2020, with the main objective of organizing elections last December, but postponed indefinitely due to strong differences over the legal basis of the referendum. Libya descended into chaos after the uprising that toppled the Gaddafi regime in 2011.

In eleven years, the North African country has gone through more than a dozen governments, seen two civil wars and never managed to hold a presidential election.

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(AFP)

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