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More than 120 people killed in Haftar's bloody assault on Libya's capital

Date of publication: 14 April, 2019

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At least 120 people have been killed in recent Libyan battles in Tripoli.

More than 120 people have been killed since a Libyan military commander launched an assault on the capital ten days ago, igniting clashes with rival militias, the UN health agency said Sunday.

The self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter, launched a surprise offensive on Tripoli on 5 April and is battling rival militias loosely affiliated with a weak UN-backed government.

The World Health Organisation said 121 people have been killed in the fighting and another 561 have been wounded. It did not specify whether they were fighters or civilians.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said more than 13,500 people have been displaced, and that "significant numbers of civilians" remain stuck in areas where the fighting has escalated.

UN envoy Ghassan Salame said a school was bombed in the town of Ain Zara, around 15 kilometres (9 miles) southeast of Tripoli, without saying who was responsible. Both sides have carried our airstrikes in the town, and a spokesman for the Libyan National Army said it has stepped up airstrikes on its rivals in the past two days.

Hafter has vowed to unify the country after years of chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi. He has led previous campaigns against Islamist militias and other rivals in eastern Libya, and has received support from the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Russia and France.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met with Hafter in Cairo on Sunday, the presidency said, without providing further details.

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