121 killed, almost 600 wounded in Libya fighting

14 April, 2019, 21:56 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Over 120 killed, nearly 600 wounded in Libya fighting: WHO

The self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, launched a surprise offensive against Tripoli on April 5 and is battling rival militias loosely affiliated with a weak United Nations -backed government.

Egypt has provided funding and arms to his Libyan National Army, seeing him as a bulwark against Islamist militants.

In a brief statement, Egypt's presidential palace said that during the talks Mr Sisi emphasised Egypt's support for "combating terrorism and extremist groups and militias to restore peace and stability for Libyan citizens across their country".

The source said the pilot had ejected with his parachute and was "safe and sound", denying reports he had been captured by the UN-backed Government of National Accord.

Fighting in Tripoli has killed 121 people and wounded 561 since commander Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive earlier this month to take the Libyan capital.

Haftar backs a rival administration based in eastern Libya that refuses to recognise the UN-backed unity government led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

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The spike in violence has marked an escalation of the conflict, which has been ongoing since 2011, when protests led to the ouster of then-leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Despite the risk, the WHO said it was sending more medical supplies and health staff to Libya to cope with an anticipated increase in casualties.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said more than 13,500 people have been displaced, and that "significant numbers of civilians" remain stuck in areas where the fighting has escalated.

"Three medical personnel have been killed and five ambulances have been incapacitated by shrapnel", OCHA said in a Saturday statement.

In addition to ground fighting, both sides conduct daily air raids and accuse each other of targeting civilians.

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