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Casualties in Renewed Tripoli Clashes amid Coronavirus Threat

Casualties in Renewed Tripoli Clashes amid Coronavirus Threat

Wednesday, 25 March, 2020 - 06:15
A damaged buidling in Tripoli, Libya on February 13, 2020. (AFP)
Cairo – Khaled Mahmoud

Clashes in the Libyan capital Tripoli renewed for a third straight day between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA).


Spokesman for the GNA forces said six were killed and six wounded in Tripoli shelling in 48 hours, accusing the LNA of lying about respecting the UN-brokered ceasefire.


He accused the LNA of violating the ceasefire and amassing its forces south of Tripoli.


“We consequently ordered our forces on the frontlines to repel them,” he added.


An official at the GNA’s health ministry said six civilians were killed and six wounded in arbitrary shelling of the town of Ain Zara and the al-Khila and Souk al-Jomaa areas.


He predicted the figures to rise in coming days.


The fighting erupted even as Libya reported its first coronavirus case and as the rival governments in the east and west imposed curfews to prevent the spread of the disease.


Differences emerged on Tuesday between the GNA’s interior ministry and the Tajoura municipality over the curfew. The town insisted on imposing a 24-hour curfew, while the GNA only sought a partial one.


In the east, authorities eased the 24-hour curfew and instead opted to impose one from 3pm to 7am. Commander of the LNA, Khalifa Haftar, carried out on Tuesday morning a field inspection in the eastern city of Benghazi where he was informed of its security and preventive measures against the coronavirus.


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