Libya clashes over Tripoli escalate as city's airport is hit

Libya clashes over Tripoli escalate as city's airport is hit

A warplane attacked Tripoli's only functioning airport on Monday as eastern forces advancing on the Libyan capital disregarded global appeals for a truce in the latest of a cycle of warfare since Muammar Gaddafi's fall in 2011.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report on Monday that, since 4 April, 2,800 people had been displaced due to the clashes in the south of the capital Tripoli, adding that many civilians have been trapped and have not been able to access emergency services.

The country is divided between two rival governments, with an elected parliament governing the country's east and the UN- and EU-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) ruling the west from Tripoli.

Witnesses said on Monday afternoon that the LNA had lost control of the old airport and withdrawn from positions on the airport road.

Eastern Libyan forces tried to push towards the center of Tripoli on April 8 after their easy desert advance hit a tougher urban phase, with deaths and displacements mounting despite Western appeals for a truce and a return to a peace plan.

Analysts say Haftar has swelled his ranks with Salafist fighters and tribesmen as well as Chadians and Sudanese from over the southern borders, claims dismissed by the LNA.

Hifter's forces have clashed with rival militias which support the United Nations -backed government that controls Tripoli and the western part of the country. Some 5,700 refugees and migrants are trapped in detention centers in conflict areas, United Nations agencies say.

India's BJP releases manifesto ahead of upcoming elections
The main opposition Congress party released its manifesto last week, blasting the Hindu nationalist BJP for working "to divide the nation".

Meanwhile, fighting was underway Monday at Tripoli's former global airport, some 24 kilometers (15 miles) south of the city.

At least 35 people have been killed since 4 April, the date of the start of Haftar forces' attack on the Libyan capital, according to new data issued by the Government of National Accord, amid increasing global calls to stop the attack.

Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO's director for the eastern Mediterranean, said that targeting of medical staff was "unacceptable" and "worsens the situation for civilians caught up in conflict".

Russian Federation on April 8 called for calm on all sides.

The UN Support Mission in Libya's (UNSMIL) head Ghassan Salame condemned the aerial attack on Mitiga airport in a statement.

Ribeiro, reminded all parties of their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law to ensure the safety of all civilians and civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and public utilities, and to allow unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access to all affected areas.

A contingent of US forces was earlier evacuated. A small contingent of American troops has been in Libya in recent years helping local forces combat Islamic State and al-Qaida militants and protecting diplomatic facilities.

Related Articles