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.


Syrian state media says drone destroyed over Damascus countryside

Updated 6 min 10 sec ago

Syrian state media says drone destroyed over Damascus countryside

  • A drone was destroyed over a village in the Damascus countryside

CAIRO: Syrian state media reported that a drone was destroyed on Thursday over a village in the Damascus countryside.
No other details were immediately available.