Libyan forces hit two government positions-in push to seize Tripoli

Elias Hubbard
April 15, 2019

The World Health Organization on Thursday said the fighting killed 56 people and injured 226 others so far.

Days before Libya's Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on the country's capital, Tripoli, Saudi Arabia offered tens of millions of dollars to help pay for the operation, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The United Nations' office for humanitarian affairs said more than 13,500 people had been displaced by the clashes, while more than 900 residents are living in shelters.

Speaking by phone from Tripoli, WHO's representative in Libya Jaffar Hussain Syed told reporters that the "fighting is closing (in) from the outskirts to inside of Tripoli".

Italy, which is a big player in the oil sector in the troubled North African country, has supported Serraj's government.

Haftar, 75, a former general in Gaddafi's army who later joined the revolt against him, moved his troops out of their eastern stronghold to take the oil-rich desert south earlier this year, before sweeping up to Tripoli at the start of April.

Last week the European Union had called on the LNA to stop its attacks, having agreed on a statement after France and Italy sparred over how to handle the conflict.

Libyan protesters attend a demonstration to demand an end to the offensive against Tripoli, in Martyrs Square in central Tripoli, Libya, April 12, 2019. Fierce fighting has broken out around a disused former airport about 11km from the centre.

On Friday, an LNA warplane bombed the camp of a force allied to Serraj in Zuwara, west of Tripoli towards the Tunisian border, an LNA military source and residents said.

In a separate strike the yard of a primary school was hit, a Reuters reporter at the scene said. An LNA official said the plane had targeted a camp of the forces loyal to Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Government of National Accord (GNA).

The United Nations, which had hoped to organize a national conference this month bringing the rival eastern and western administrations together to organize an election, has called for a ceasefire. It has been postponed.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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