Death toll rises to 121 as rivals battle in Libya | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, April 16, 2019

Death toll rises to 121 as rivals battle in Libya

Haftar forces’ jet goes down near Tripoli

Fighting near Tripoli has killed 121 people since strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive earlier this month to take the Libyan capital, the World Health Organization said.

In clashes between Haftar’s forces and those of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), both sides have proclaimed “advances” but neither appears to have made substantial progress on the ground in recent days.

With more than 560 people wounded since the fighting started on April 4, the WHO said it was sending more medical supplies and staff to Tripoli.

On its Twitter feed, the agency denounced “repeated attacks on health care workers” and vehicles during the fighting.

The UN’s humanitarian coordination office, OCHA, said Saturday that three medical personnel had been killed and that shrapnel had put five ambulances out of action.

The mounting violence has sparked global alarm over the oil-rich country, in turmoil since Nato-backed forces overthrew former dictator Moamer Gaddafi in 2011.

A bewildering array of militias have sought to take control since his ouster.

Haftar’s offensive began shortly before a conference set for this month to discuss Libya’s future -- an event the UN cancelled as his forces closed in on the capital.

Libya’s UN-backed government said its forces shot down a fighter jet belonging to forces of strongman Khalifa Haftar south of the capital Tripoli on Sunday.

A source for Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) confirmed the loss of a MiG-23 aircraft but attributed it to a “technical failure”.

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