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Humanitarian Ceasefire Collapses in Libya's Tripoli

Humanitarian Ceasefire Collapses in Libya's Tripoli

Tuesday, 24 March, 2020 - 06:15
Smoke rises from Mitiga Airport after being attacked in Tripoli, Libya February 28, 2020. (Reuters)
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud

The Libyan National Army (LNA) and Government of National Accord (GNA) traded accusations for a second day on Tuesday over the violation of the country’s humanitarian ceasefire amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The UN and several countries had called for the truce to allow authorities to combat the virus.

A commander of LNA operations in the west, al-Mabrouk al-Ghazawi, said four Turkish soldiers and top pro-Ankara Syrian mercenary were killed in fighting against the army in the four days of fighting in the Ain Zara region south of Tripoli.

Ghazawi said the LNA does not want to keep the corpses of the Turkish troops because “we do not want to bury them in our country.”

“We do not mind officially handing them over to Turkey through the Libyan Red Crescent or the International Committee of the Red Cross,” he added.

“The terrorist Syrian confessed before his death that several Turkish officers and pro-Turkey Syrian mercenaries were involved in the fighting,” he added, revealing that one LNA fighter was also killed in the clashes.

LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari accused “terrorist militias” of violating the humanitarian truce by attacking the al-Sharara region north of Tarhuna city with several grad rockets.

Tarhuna residents confirmed Mismari’s accusations.

The militias also broke the truce in the region of al-Hira south of Tripoli, attacking LNA positions with artillery.

In contrast, the GNA forces accused the LNA of shelling Ain Zara, saying two people were killed in the unrest. Two foreign workers and several citizens were killed in artillery shelling near Mitiga east of Tripoli.

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