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Calm prevails in Tripoli as cease-fire takes effect

A damaged school building is seen after targeted by airstrikes of Haftar’s forces at Shuafat neighbourhood in Tripoli, Libya on 10 January 2020. [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]
A damaged school building is seen after targeted by airstrikes of Haftar’s forces at Shuafat neighbourhood in Tripoli, Libya on 10 January 2020. [Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency]

Calm prevailed in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Sunday as a cease-fire called by Turkey and Russia went into effect Anadolu Agency reports.

The cease-fire took effect at 12 midnight local time and the decision was celebrated with fireworks in the capital.

On Saturday, forces loyal to Libya’s renegade Gen. Khalifa Haftar accepted a joint call by Turkey and Russia for a cease-fire and truce in the battle for Tripoli.

Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said in a video message that the forces accepted the cease-fire call but would harshly respond if violated.

The cease-fire announcement came minutes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, held a telephone conversation.

READ: German chancellor Merkel says Berlin will host Libya peace talks

Erdogan and Putin urged a Tripoli ceasefire Wednesday by Jan. 12, following a meeting in Istanbul.

On April 4, Haftar launched an offensive to capture Tripoli from the UN-recognized government.

According to the UN, more than 1,000 people have been killed since the start of the operation and greater than 5,000 injured.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

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