Politics, Africa

Libya fighting continues, death toll rises to 264: WHO

UN agency says 1,266 people have also been injured since the beginning of fighting in early April

Bayram Altug   | 23.04.2019
Libya fighting continues, death toll rises to 264: WHO File Photo ( Hazem Turkia - Anadolu Agency )

GENEVA 

The death toll from ongoing fighting between Libyan rivals in the capital Tripoli has risen to 264, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, Tariq Jarasevic, spokesman of WHO, said some 1,266 people have been injured since the beginning of the fighting.

Since early April, Khalifa Haftar, commander of forces loyal to a rival government in eastern Libya, has been launching a campaign to capture Tripoli, where a UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) is headquartered.

Although Haftar has so far failed to wrest the capital from pro-GNA forces, sporadic fighting on the city’s outskirts has left casualties on both sides.

According to Jarasevic, at least 21 of the deceased and 69 of the injured persons were civilians.

He also said WHO have been helping the treatment of those wounded and have assigned a team to the region.

Meanwhile, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said 32,000 civilians have been displaced since the beginning of the conflict.

“We call on the parties for the protection of civilians and humanitarian aid,” said UNHCR spokesman Barbar Baloch.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

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 UN recognition.

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic

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