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WHO: Fighting kills 220 in Libyan capital

People shout slogans near flag-draped coffins of those who lost their lives in rocket attacks by East Libya-based forces led by commander Khalifa Haftar at the Abu Salim neighborhood, during a funeral ceremony at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli, Libya on 17 April 2019 [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]
People shout slogans near flag-draped coffins of those who lost their lives in rocket attacks by East Libya-based forces led by commander Khalifa Haftar at the Abu Salim neighborhood, during a funeral ceremony at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli, Libya on 17 April 2019 [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]

At least 220 people have been killed and hundreds injured in recent clashes on the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday.

Since early April, Khalifa Haftar, commander of forces loyal to a rival government in eastern Libya, has been launching a campaign to capture Tripoli, where a UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) is headquartered.

“Toll for armed conflict in Tripoli is 220 dead and 1066 wounded,” the UN-affiliated health body said on Twitter.

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It said children, women and workers in the medical sector were among the victims.

Although Haftar has so far failed to wrest the capital from pro-GNA forces, sporadic fighting on the city’s outskirts has left casualties on both sides.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

Since then, the country has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, to which Haftar is affiliated, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN recognition.

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AfricaInternational OrganisationsLibyaNewsWHO
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