Death toll of clashes in Libya's capital rises to 254

April FrancisApr 24, 2019

Explosions were heard from the city centre overnight, and some witnesses said there were air strikes.

Gnounou said strikes took place south of Gharian, 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of the capital, and against an airbase at Al-Wotya, 50 kilometres further southwest.

Tripoli's Mitiga International Airport reopened to flights after several hours, airport authorities said on Facebook.

Libya is split between rival governments in the east and west. President Donald Trump phoned Hifter earlier this week, expressing U.S. support for the leader's perceived stance against terrorism.

Members of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces are seen at Khallat Farjan area in Tripoli, Libya April 20, 2019.

Residents had reported drone attacks in the past days, but there has been no confirmation.

As a result of Haftar's offensive, in April the United States military withdrew a small number of troops from Libya that had been performing diplomatic and counter-terrorism missions against ISIS, citing "increased unrest in Libya".

He has support from Egypt, Russia and the UAE.

If the civilians had not been taken into account, the battle would not have lasted even a week, he said.

The air strikes, which were also filmed by residents in video posted online, came after a day of heavy clashes in southern districts, with shelling audible in the city center.

Easter Bombings Leave Hundreds Of Christians In Mourning
It was Sri Lanka's deadliest violence since a devastating civil war in the South Asian island nation ended a decade ago. While most of the victims were Sri Lankans, 39 foreigners were among those who died, according to the latest count.

The White House revealed Friday that President Donald Trump reached out personally to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar, as a push at the United Nations to broker a ceasefire hit trouble.

Haftar launched an offensive on April 4 against Tripoli, where the UN-recognized GNA is based.

Both sides claimed progress in southern Tripoli, but no more details were immediately available.

Meanwhile, about 2,000 residents of Tripoli staged a protest in the city's central Martyrs' Square on Friday to condemn Haftar's push on the city as well as world powers that back him, which they say include France and Russian Federation, and now the US.

A total of 227 people have been killed and 1,128 others injured in the fighting between the UN-backed Libyan government and the eastern-based army in and around the capital Tripoli, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday.

Earlier the White House said Trump had discussed "ongoing counterterrorism efforts" by Khalifa Haftar's forces during a telephone call with the Libyan commander on Monday.

The US and Russian Federation declined on Thursday to support a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Libya.

Russian Federation objects to the British-drafted resolution blaming Gen Haftar for the latest flare-up in violence when his LNA advanced to the outskirts of Tripoli earlier this month, diplomats said.

Hifter has received aid from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia and France.

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