Death toll resulting from the ongoing fighting between the Libyan rival factions in the capital Tripoli has risen to 264, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced yesterday.
Speaking to reporters, Tariq Jarasevic, WHO’s spokesperson, said that some 1,200 had been injured since the beginning of the clashes early this month.
“At least 21 of the deceased and 69 of the injured were civilians,” Jarasevic explained.
He pointed out that the WHO “has been providing the necessary medical treatments for the injured people,” adding that the organisation had assigned a “dedicated team” to help treating the victims.
In a similar context, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently said that 32,000 civilians have fled their homes in Tripoli since the beginning of the conflict.
On 4 April, Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, with arms support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, launched a military operation to recapture Tripoli from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) forces. The campaign has so far, not only failed to seize the city, but also led to casualties on both sides.
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 the eastern city of Al-Bayda, to which Haftar is linked, and another in Tripoli, led by Fayez Al-Sarraj.