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World Health Organization says over 200 killed in fighting over Libyan capital

24 April 2019

Gnounou said strikes took place south of Gharian, 100 kilometres southwest of the capital, and against an airbase at Al-Wotya, 50 kilometres further southwest.

Since then, the country has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, to which Haftar is affiliated, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys United Nations recognition.

Libya is split between rival governments in the east and west. President Donald Trump phoned Hifter earlier this week, expressing United States support for the leader's perceived stance against terrorism.

He also lauded President Donald Trump's call to Hifter last week expressing US support for the Libyan commander's perceived stance against terrorism and Hifter's role in "securing Libya's oil resources".

"US apparent support for Haftar fails to recognise that his offensive against Tripoli is not counterterrorism but a power grab", Mr Millett, who retired previous year, tweeted.

However, the French embassy in Libya on Friday tweeted in Arabic that Paris was "opposed to the attack" on Tripoli and urged all parties to abide by a ceasefire and engage in peace negotiations.

Russian Federation objects to the British-drafted resolution blaming eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar for the latest flare-up in violence when his Libyan National Army (LNA) advanced to the outskirts of Tripoli earlier this month, diplomats said. Libya is split between rival governments in the east and west.

Haftar's forces predicted victory within days of beginning its offensive, but the Tripoli government has bogged them down in southern suburbs with help from armed groups from various western Libyan factions.

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Haftar launched an offensive on April 4 against the UN-recognised GNA, which is based in Tripoli, resulting in repeated fierce clashes on the southern edges of the capital.

Trump and Hafar spoke on Monday and it remains unclear why the White House waited several days to announce that they had spoken.

Powerful explosions, believed to be caused by aerial bombing, were reported early on Sunday across Tripoli's southern districts, with residents saying they saw an aircraft circling for more than 10 minutes over the city before opening fire on a southern district.

World Health Organization said on Wednesday it would send medical staff to treat the wounded, whose number has reached 913.

On Thursday, both the United States and Russian Federation said they could not support a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a Libya ceasefire at this time.

Residents in Tripoli said Hifter's forces seem to be making small progress and gains on the ground.

The violence also prompted the closure of Tripoli's Mitiga airport.

"The powers that support terrorism in Libya are France, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE", said Abdelrizaq Musherib, a protester.

World Health Organization says over 200 killed in fighting over Libyan capital