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Casualties as LNA, GNA Forces Clash in Tripoli, Tarhuna

Casualties as LNA, GNA Forces Clash in Tripoli, Tarhuna

Sunday, 19 April, 2020 - 06:45
A member of the Tripoli Protection Force, an alliance of militias from Libya's capital city, takes position during clashes with the Seventh Brigade group from Tarhuna. (AFP file photo)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for a new humanitarian truce in Libya fell on deaf ears as fighting continued unabated between the Libyan National Army (LNA), commanded by Khalifa Haftar, and Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez al-Sarraj.

Fighting was reported on various Tripoli fronts, as well as in the western city of Tarhuna, where the GNA launched a wide-scale offensive against the LNA.

Tarhuna is controlled by the LNA, which uses it as a platform to launch attacks against Tripoli.

A Tarhuna faction loyal to the GNA said government aircraft strikes destroyed four LNA armored vehicles in the central part of the city.

GNA military operations spokesman Mohammed Kanunu said five LNA positions were also struck ahead of a GNA advance on the area. Twelve LNA members were also arrested after pro-GNA forces stormed the Hawatem base in Tarhuna.

The GNA had previously announced the killing of eight and arrest of four LNA members as its forces advanced on the city outskirts.

Kanunu reiterated the GNA’s call on the LNA forces in the city to lay down their arms and surrender.

He added that the GNA forces will maintain their steady advance on Tarhuna that he said was in retaliation to the LNA’s ongoing shelling of Tripoli neighborhoods.

A GNA source told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency that most of the frontlines in Tripoli and areas stretching from Sirte to Misrata in the west had witnessed fighting in the early hours of Saturday. He said the artillery shelling and rocket fire from both sides was the heaviest since the LNA launched its offensive against Tripoli in April 2019.

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