deadly fighting in the capital Tripoli, six hospitals were affected

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Fierce clashes between militias erupted overnight from Friday to Saturday in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, rocked by gunfire and explosions, and lasted until Saturday night, leaving many dead and wounded.

They scare you the worst. The fighting between militias that broke out on the night of Friday August 26 to Saturday August 27 in Tripoli continued until Saturday night, leaving at least 23 dead, including 17 civilians, and 140 wounded, according to latest official report. These clashes have raised fears of a new war in Libya, already in turmoil between two rival governments.

Six hospitals were affected by the strikes while ambulances could not access the combat zones, the Minister of Health announced.

Clashes between rival militias, armed with light and heavy weapons, took place in several neighborhoods of Tripoli (west), where gunfire and shooting echoed throughout Friday night and all day Saturday. They continued on Saturday night, even reaching new neighborhoods, said an AFP reporter.

dangerously calm

A few hours ago, a dangerous peace reigned in the city at night from Saturday to Sunday. The head of the Tripoli government, Abdelhamid Dbeibah, then showed a video, surrounded by his guards, saluting the fighters who sided with him.

However, local media said on Saturday that an alliance of militias in favor of Fathi Bachagha, head of the rival government in Tripoli, which was heading to the capital from Misrata, 200 km east of Tripoli, will return.

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The clashes caused a lot of damage, according to an AFP reporter, who saw dozens of burnt-out cars and buildings riddled with bullets or set on fire.

The streets of Tripoli were almost deserted on Saturday night, except for militiamen, as columns of gray smoke rose into the sky.

“The urban war has its own logic, it destroys civilian infrastructure and people, so even if it is not long, this conflict can be very destructive”, analyzed for AFP Emadeddin Badi, researcher of the Global Initiative think tank.

US Embassy ‘very concerned’

The American embassy in Tripoli said it was “deeply concerned”, while the UN mission in Libya called for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” denouncing “the clashes (…) in the neighborhoods inhabited by civilians”.

Turkey, which has a military presence around Tripoli and helped the city’s forces repel an attack in 2020, called for an immediate ceasefire and pledged to “continue to support our brothers in Libya”.

These battles are on an unprecedented scale since the failure in June 2020 of the attempt of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a strongman from the East, to conquer the military capital, at the height of the civil war that following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. in 2011.

The Tripoli-based government, led by Abdelhamid Dbeibah, accused the rival Prime Minister Fathi Bachagha, temporarily based in Sirte (center) and supported by Khalifa Haftar, of “carrying out his threats” to – river in the town. Fathi Bachagha’s media office, in turn, accused the Tripoli government of “holding power”, although it said it was “illegitimate”. He also denied any negotiations with his opponent for a deal.

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Since his appointment in February to the Parliament sitting in the East, Fathi Bachagha has been trying, without success, to enter Tripoli to establish his authority there, recently threatening to use force to achieve this.

Tensions between armed groups loyal to one or the other of the two leaders have escalated in recent months in Tripoli. As of July 22, the fighting has already killed 16 people, including civilians, and injured about fifty.

With AFP and Reuters

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