Fighting in Libyan capital reaches 23 dead
Fighting between militias that broke out on Friday night in Tripoli, against a backdrop of political chaos with two rival governments, left at least 23 people dead and 140 injured, according to a new official report.
The clashes between rival militias broke out in several neighborhoods of Tripoli (west) where bursts of gunfire and shelling resounded throughout the night and into the day on Saturday.
A precarious calm prevailed in the city on Saturday night. The head of the government of Tripoli Abdelhamid Dbeibah then appeared in a video, surrounded by his guards, greeting fighters who lined up on his side.
These new clashes are of an unprecedented scale since the failure in June 2020 of the attempt by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, strongman of the east, to militarily conquer the capital, at the height of the civil war that followed the fall of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Six hospitals were hit by the strikes, the health minister announced, giving a new toll of 23 dead and 140 injured.
The clashes caused extensive damage, according to a journalist, who saw dozens of burned cars and buildings riddled with bullets or burned.
The streets of Tripoli were almost deserted throughout the day, while columns of gray smoke rose into the sky.
The Tripoli-based government accused rival Prime Minister Fathi Bachagha, temporarily based in central Sirte and backed by Mr. Haftar, of wanting to “carry out his threats” to seize the city.