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Two doctors killed in battle for Libya's capital

Heavy fighting has taken place near Tripoli since Thursday [AFP]

Date of publication: 8 April, 2019

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The World Health Organisation has said that two doctors have been killed in Libya's recent escalation of violence, as the country's rival powers fight for control of Tripoli.
Two doctors who died treating civilians injured in fighting for control of Libya's capital, Tripoli, have been killed, the United Nations health organisation said on Monday.

Ahmed al-Mandhari, the World Health Organisation's regional director for the eastern Mediterranean, said in a statement Monday that the targeting of doctors was "unacceptable".

He said the doctors were killed trying to "evacuate wounded patients from conflict areas," and that attacking medical workers "worsens the situation for civilians caught up in conflict."

According to the WHO, there have been over 46 attacks on health workers and facilities in Libya since the beginning of 2018, killing eight health workers and patients, and injuring 24.

Heavy fighting has taken place near Tripoli since the forces of military general Khalifa Haftar launched an assault on Thursday aimed at seizing the capital from the Tripoli-based internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

Read More: In Libya, UAE fingerprints are all over the incumbent coup

The UN says at least 2,800 people have fled from the fighting.

The offensive has raised fears of return to all-out war in Libya and left a question mark over the UN-led effort to lay the groundwork for elections with the 14 to 16 April conference.

Libya has struggled to counter unrest since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, leaving dozens of militia to fill the void and ally with either the GNA or a rival administration in the east backed by Haftar.

GNA head Fayez al-Sarraj on Saturday accused Haftar of betraying him and warned of a "war without a winner".

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