New fighting in Libya capital after truce collapses

Smoke rises during heavy clashes between rival factions in Tripoli, Libya, August 28, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 29 August 2018
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New fighting in Libya capital after truce collapses

  • A military officer said there had been intermittent fighting in Tripoli’s southern suburbs
  • The Libyan capital has been at the center of a battle for influence between armed groups since Qaddafi's fall in 2011

TRIPOLI: Fresh fighting erupted in the Libyan capital on Wednesday after the collapse of a truce, a witness and military source said, after the UN called for calm.
A military officer with forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord said there had been intermittent fighting in Tripoli’s southern suburbs.
“A combined force from the ministry of defense and (ministry of) interior of the GNA led an offensive against positions of the 7th Brigade,” he said.
The militia had been trying to advance along the road to Tripoli’s international airport which has largely been closed since fighting in 2014.
The 7th Brigade supposedly operates under the GNA’s defense ministry.
But on Monday Interior Minister Abdessalam Ashour said security forces were fighting the militia, which hails from the town of Tarhuna southeast of Tripoli.
Those clashes left at least five people dead and 33 wounded, according to a health ministry toll, before a truce was reached in the evening.
Fighting resumed on Wednesday in the Salaheddin neighborhood of southern Tripoli, a resident said.
He reported machine guns and anti-aircraft guns being fired, which could be heard over the phone.
Overnight the UN Support Mission in Libya warned of attempts to “tamper with the security (of) Tripoli and its residents.”
“There is no justification for the bloodshed. UNSMIL calls on all to spare lives, stop military mobilization and allow for mediation,” the mission wrote on Twitter.
The UN’s plea followed reports that forces from the city of Misrata, 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of Tripoli, intended to head to the capital.
Powerful armed groups from Misrata spearheaded the “Fajr Libya” coalition of militias which seized Tripoli in 2014.
The Libyan capital has been at the center of a battle for influence between armed groups since dictator Muammar Qaddafi was ousted in 2011.


Nobel laureate Murad to build hospital in her hometown in Iraq

Updated 50 min 42 sec ago
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Nobel laureate Murad to build hospital in her hometown in Iraq

  • The laureate was awarded the $1 million prize alongside Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege
  • She said she will use the money to “build a hospital in Sinjar to treat ill people, mainly widows and women”

SINJAR, Iraq: Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi woman held as a sex slave by Daesh militants who won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, said on Friday she intended to use the prize money to build a hospital for victims of sexual abuse in her hometown.
The Yazidi survivor was speaking to a crowd of hundreds in Sinjar, her hometown in northern Iraq.
“With the money I got from the Nobel Peace prize, I will build a hospital in Sinjar to treat ill people, mainly widows and women who were exposed to sexual abuses by Daesh militants,” she told the crowd and gathered journalists.
She thanked the Iraqi and Kurdistan governments for agreeing to her plan and said she would be contacting humanitarian organizations “soon” to start construction.
Murad was awarded the $1 million prize alongside Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
She was one of about 7,000 women and girls captured in northwest Iraq in August 2014 and held by Daesh in Mosul, where she was tortured and raped.
She escaped after three months and reached Germany, from where she campaigned extensively to appeal for support for the Yazidi community.
The Yazidi area in Sinjar had previously been home to about 400,000 people, mostly Yazidis and Arab Sunnis.
In a matter of days, more than 3,000 Yazidis were killed and about 6,800 kidnapped, either sold into slavery or conscripted to fight for Daesh as the religious minority came under attack.