Fighting in Tripoli decreases in intensity after leaving at least 23 dead and 140 wounded

The situation in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, ravaged after nearly 24 hours of fighting between rival militias, has relaxed in recent hours, as night falls in the country, while hospitals attend to the victims of hostilities that have left, so far, at least 23 dead and 140 wounded, according to the Ministry of Health of the Libyan Unity Government.

The Ministry of Health has set up a field hospital inside Tripoli University Hospital to receive those wounded in the clashes in the capital, 83 of whom have been discharged amid the tense calm in the air, Libya Observer and Libya Eye sources report.

The fighting between the so-called Support and Stability Force, under the orders of the unity government, against militias led by Haitem Tajouri, has ended with the partial withdrawal of the latter to safe places after a final ambush by the unity forces launched an ambush that would have ended with the main militia headquarters in their hands.

It is unknown, for the moment, how the situation is on the outskirts of the city, where a convoy of the forces from the east of the country, the administration parallel to the Unity Government, has approached.

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The Libyan unity prime minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibé, has asked in the last hours the Ministry of Interior and the Military Prosecutor to “take immediate measures to arrest those who contributed to the clashes in the capital, whether military or civilian.”

The Libyan State Oil Corporation has announced the suspension of operations for the next 24 hours. Similarly, the Ministry of Education has also declared the suspension of exams scheduled for tomorrow until the situation in the capital is stabilized.

The United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom, the African Union, Egypt and Turkey have implored the authorities to refrain from taking measures that would escalate the violence, while the president of the Presidential Transitional Council, the body recognized by the United Nations to manage the transition process in Libya, Mohamed Menfi, has been forced to bring forward the end of his official visit to Tunisia in order to return urgently to the country.

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The resumption of fighting comes after a brief period of relative calm following years of open fighting over the death of Muammar Qaddafi, the country is once again divided into two administrations.

The House of Representatives, based in the east of the country, terminated Dbeibé’s mandate because of the postponement of the December presidential elections and ended up appointing Fazi Bashaga, in the beginning of a conflict that has spread to the country’s energy sector, absolutely essential to sustain the economy of a nation ruined after years of civil war.

It should be recalled that Bashaga has tried to take control of Tripoli as many as twice — on July 22, clashes left 16 dead and about 50 wounded — before resigning to avoid a full-blown armed struggle. Right now his government is based in the city of Sirte, but the eastern prime minister has been threatening for days to carry out a final offensive against the capital.

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