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Clashes in Libyan capital kill dozens, injure over 100 and force airport shutdown

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmatihttps://www.khaama.com
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati
Photo/AFP.

In Libya’s capital, the most intense violence of the year erupted as two powerful armed factions clashed. Tensions eased when one side released a detained commander who had sparked the fighting.

A Tripoli health agency has reported that 27 people lost their lives, and over 100 sustained injuries due to the violence. Meanwhile, officials said on Tuesday that it forced the Libyan capital’s only civilian airport to be closed.

Both factions had supported the Interim Government of National Unity (GNU) during brief conflicts last year. However, their sudden eruption of fighting has disrupted months of prior tranquillity in Tripoli. This highlights the ongoing dangers of an unresolved conflict.

Libya has experienced over a decade of intermittent conflict following the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that led to the removal of authoritarian leader Muammar Gaddafi. During this period, numerous militias emerged, forging conflicting alliances with the support of various foreign powers.

A phase of notable stability prompted the United Nations to express optimism about the possibility of postponed elections occurring this year. The recent outbreak of fighting has prompted international appeals for calm.

The conflicts between the prominent 444 Brigade and the Al Radaa, also known as the Special Deterrence Force, began on Monday night and continued into Tuesday, as stated by an official from the interior ministry.

“Tensions arose” soon after it was announced “the Al Radaa Force had arrested the head of the 444 Brigade, without explaining whether this was on judicial orders or for other reasons”, the official said.

There was a prolonged clash between the two factions in Tripoli in May. This clash occurred again following the apprehension of a member from the 444 Brigade. Both of these factions support the UN-backed government led by Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah in the divided nation of Tripoli.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya said it is “following with concern” the security deterioration in the Libyan capital and its impact on civilians.

“All parties must preserve the security gains achieved in recent years and address differences through dialogue,” UNSMIL said.

The embassies of the United States, United Kingdom, France, and the European Union echoed the UN’s plea for de-escalation.

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