Nearly 150 killed in battle for Tripoli: WHO

Fighters loyal to Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) hold a position, some 60 kilometres southwest of the capital Tripoli. (AFP)
Updated 16 April 2019
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Nearly 150 killed in battle for Tripoli: WHO

  • Casualties leave health facilities in ‘critical need of assistance,’ says UN refugee agency

TRIPOLI: At least 147 people have been killed and 614 wounded in the offensive launched on April 4 by Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar to take the capital Tripoli, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday.

The clashes have displaced more than 18,000 people, according to the latest figures from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Fighting broke out as Haftar’s forces sought to take control of Tripoli from loyalists of the internationally backed Government of National Accord (GNA) which is based in the capital.

The rising number of casualties has prompted the WHO to deploy surgical teams “to support Tripoli-area hospitals as they cope with the influx of trauma cases,” the UN agency wrote on Twitter.

At least eight ambulances have been hit during clashes in the southern outskirts of the capital, as both sides have defied international calls to halt the fighting.

WHO urged “all parties to exercise restraint and avoid causing collateral damage to hospitals, ambulances and health workers.”

In addition to ground fighting, both pro-government forces and Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) carry out daily air raids and accuse each other of targeting civilians.

The resulting casualties have left health facilities in “critical need of assistance,” according to the United Nations refugee agency.

“The situation on the ground continues deteriorating and number of casualties soaring,” UNHCR tweeted.


US to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East

Updated 18 June 2019
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US to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East

DUBAI/WASHINGTON: Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were “defensive purposes,” citing concerns about a threat from Iran.
“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said in a statement.
Reuters first reported plans to send US additional troops to the Middle East earlier on Monday.
Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked, more than a year after President Donald Trump announced Washington was withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran said on Monday it would soon breach limits on how much enriched uranium it can stockpile under the deal, which a White House National Security Council spokesman said amounted to “nuclear blackmail.”