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Precarious calm near Tripoli after intense clashes

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Tripoli, Libya, June 20 (Infosplusgabon) - A precarious calm prevailed on Thursday in the battlefields of southern Tripoli, following violent clashes around the capital's airport between forces of the Libyan National Army led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar and troops of the Army loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

 


Occupied by Haftar's forces, which launched a military offensive on 4 April to take control of the capital, Tripoli airport has been the target of several attacks by troops loyal to the GNA.


Both sides gave contradictory versions of the military situation and the toll of the ongoing fighting, which has already claimed 691 lives since the start of the military offensive, including 41 civilians and 4,012 wounded, including 135 civilians, as well as more than 92,000 displaced.


The spokesperson of the GNA's Volcano of Wrath operation, Col. Mohamed Kanouno, said that "planes of the Libyan air force bombed and destroyed a convoy of nine containers of ammunition for Tripoli.


In a brief presentation on the clashes in Tripoli on Wednesday, Col. Kanouno said that the Libyan air force destroyed a plane and its ammunition at the al-Watiya base occupied by Haftar's forces, explaining that "army artillery targeted the General Command forces camped at Tripoli airport".


He added that his troops took control of the enemy's fortifications in the battle lines of the airport, the Yarmouk military camp, the River Road and Ain Zara.


"This is the fourth time that oil sites have been attacked after the destruction of a North African Exploration Company building, an oil facility and a liquefied gas tank," he said, accusing Haftar's fighter jets for the destruction of Mellita company warehouses in Tajoura, east of Tripoli.


He accused the General Command forces of having "used prohibited weapons at the international level", claiming that military engineers "discovered the use of 450 kg cluster bombs and phosphorus bombs banned in the regions of Bir al-Ghanem, Al-Swani, Al-Azizia, Al-Toughar Mosque and others".


For their part, LNA forces announced that they had taken control of the Al-Naklia camp and headed towards the centre of Tripoli.


The Libyan army said armed formations in Tripoli suffered heavy loss of life and equipment after clashes that lasted six hours during Wednesday's failed attack on Tripoli airport.


According to the same source, the Libyan Red Crescent recovered 40 bodies from armed groups while 15 others were captured by the Libyan Army.

 

 


FIN/INFOSPLUSGABON/MPO/GABON2019

 


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