Libya fighting escalates as Khalifa Haftar's forces bomb Tripoli airport

Libya fighting escalates as Khalifa Haftar's forces bomb Tripoli airport

Fighting for control of the Libyan capital escalated dramatically on Monday when rebel forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar carried out an airstrike on city's only operating airport.  The attack came amid reports that the internationally recognised government of National Accord led by Fayyez al-Sarraj had begun conscripting migrants held in detention centres to fight against Gen Haftar's troops. At least one jet was seen firing rockets at the Mitiga airport in northern Tripoli on Monday afternoon. The airport said it would be closed for the foreseeable future. No casualties were reported. At least 2, 800 people have been displaced since Gen Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army launched an assault on Tripoli last week. The LNA said on Monday that 19 of its soldiers had been killed in recent days. The Tripoli based health ministry, on the government side, said at least 25 people including fighters and civilians had been killed and 80 wounded in fighting to the south of the capital. The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations' health agency, said two doctors had been killed while treating civilians and trying to evacuate patients from combat zones in the city. Ahmed Al Mandhari, the WHO's regional ....

“Reports of some Sudanese being released, given military uniforms and told that they may have to fight, ” Vincent Cochetel, special envoy of the UNHCR for the central Mediterranean, wrote on Twitter. He also said that the situation for asylum seekers in Libya is becoming increasingly desperate as fighting escalates between the two sides. Vehicles and militants, reportedly from the Misrata militia, gather to join Tripoli forces, in Tripoli Credit: STRINGER/EPA-EFE/REX More “Unverifiable reports received suggesting that no more food is reaching some detention centres in Libya, where refugees and militants are kept arbitrarily, ” Mr Cochetel said. Medicins San Frontieres, an NGO, said the fighting has left refugees and migrants in detention centres "exceptionally vulnerable." "The Ain Zara detention centre is now in an area of active fighting, with more than 600 vulnerable people trapped inside, including women and children. In another detention centre, reports suggest that some people are being conscripted to work for armed groups, " the group said in a statement.   The European Union's foreign policy chief called on all sides to stop fighting and start talking. Speaking at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg, Federica Mogherini said all ....

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