Africa

Libya: Renewed clashes rock southern Tripoli

Haftar-affiliated forces seeking to seize Tripoli from UN-recognized government

Walid Abdullah   | 13.06.2019
Libya: Renewed clashes rock southern Tripoli

TRIPOLI

Armed clashes on Thursday morning renewed between the UN-recognized Libyan government and its rival forces affiliated with Gen. Khalifa Haftar in the southern districts of the capital Tripoli.

Both the airport road and the al-Khula area have seen the fiercest clashes between the two sides, while explosions have been heard in different districts of the neighborhood.

On late Wednesday, Haftar-affiliated warplanes pounded forces of the UN-recognized government concentrated in the two areas of Mashrou al-Moz and Ain Zara, south of Tripoli.

The UN-recognized forces announced that they have destroyed a tank affiliated with the Haftar forces. 

In another development, pro-Haftar forces said in a Thursday statement that they had shot down a warplane allegedly belonging to the UN-recognized government near the city of Misrata, some 200 kilometers (124.27 miles)  east of Tripoli.

A pilot was killed in the attack, the statement read. 

The UN-recognized government has yet to comment on these claims. 

Haftar's forces have so far been unsuccessful in seeking to capture Tripoli from the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord in an offensive that began in April. 

Nevertheless, his forces remain deployed in several areas around the capital. 

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power. 

The oil-rich country has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based U.N.- recognized government.

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