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Witnesses: Libyan capital rocked by renewed clashes

April 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Debris can be seen following Libyan National Army (LNA) forces attempt to take over Libya’s capital, Tripoli on 8 April 2019 [RT/Twitter]

Tripoli saw renewed clashes on Thursday between forces loyal to Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and those commanded by Khalifa Haftar, eyewitnesses said, Anadolu Agency reports.

One week ago, Haftar, who is affiliated with a rival government based in eastern Libya, launched an ambitious campaign with the stated aim of capturing Tripoli, where the GNA is headquartered.

For the past six days, the two sides have continued to trade blows on the capital’s outskirts.

On Thursday, fierce clashes were reported with both sides employing heavy weaponry in Tripoli’s Ain Zara, Al-Swani and Al-Kremiah districts.

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Witnesses report seeing numerous military aircraft over the capital, although it remains unclear which side they are affiliated with.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is associated, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN’s support.