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Heavy Airstrikes on Edge of Libyan Capital

Heavy Airstrikes on Edge of Libyan Capital

Saturday, 13 April, 2019 - 05:45

The Libyan National Army intensified on Friday its airstrikes on positions held by forces loyal to Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the Government of National Accord, on the edge of the capital Tripoli, forcing thousands of civilians to flee.

The LNA which is led by Khalifa Haftar was fighting GNA troops in the southern suburbs of the capital Friday about 11 kilometers from the city center.

An LNA warplane bombed the camp of a force allied to Sarraj in Zuwara, west of Tripoli towards the Tunisian border, an LNA military source and residents said.

A fighter jet also attacked the only partly functioning airport in Tripoli, Mitiga, witnesses said.

The United Nations said the fighting had driven 8,000 people from their homes and that "displacements from areas affected by the clashes in and around Tripoli continue to surge".

The World Health Organization (WHO) also warned that the fighting may result in a deadly outbreak of several infectious diseases if the displaced consume dirty water.

WHO said it has delivered trauma kits and medicines to hospitals, adding: “These supplies will last for two weeks, the acute phase.”

After a week of fighting, 75 people have been killed and 323 wounded, including seven civilians killed and 10 wounded, Dr. Syed Jaffar Hussain, WHO representative in Libya, told a Geneva news briefing by telephone from Tripoli.

Meanwhile, the general prosecutor in eastern Libya issued arrest warrants against Sarraj and 23 other military and GNA officials.

He accused Sarraj and his associates of seeking to incite civil strife in the country, forming illegal organizations and carrying out terrorist acts.

Also Friday, the chairman of state oil company NOC, Mustafa Sanalla, renewed his warning that the fighting could wipe out crude production.

“I am afraid the situation could be much worse than 2011 because of the size of forces now involved,” Sanalla said.

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