Left Menu
Development News Edition

Libya's strongman wrath continues as shells flying in Tripoli suburbs


Libya's strongman wrath continues as shells flying in Tripoli suburbs
"This is a senseless war against civilians," one man, Mohamed in his 40s, told Reuters among angry people in the area, where houses and cars were damaged. Image Credit: Wikimedia

Shells slammed into a Tripoli suburb overnight, piling on the suffering to civilians from a two-week assault by commander Khalifa Haftar's forces to take Libya's capital from an internationally-backed government.

The rockets, just before midnight on Tuesday, hit the southern residential district of Abu Salim near a disused airport, killing at least four people and adding to a death toll the United Nations puts at more than 800. "This is a senseless war against civilians," one man, Mohamed in his 40s, told Reuters among angry people in the area, where houses and cars were damaged.

Both sides blamed each other for the attack. Haftar and his eastern Libyan forces have cast their advance as part of a campaign to restore order and defeat jihadists in a nation gripped by anarchy since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

But the internationally-recognised Tripoli government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj - which has kept him at bay in the southern suburbs - views the 75-year-old general as a dangerous would-be dictator in the Gaffafi mould. The United Nations' humanitarian agency the OCHA said thousands of civilians were trapped in southern districts of Tripoli due to the fighting.

Rescuers and aid workers were having difficulty reaching them and electricity, water supplies and telecommunications have been badly disrupted, it said in a statement. Nearly 20,000 people have now fled their homes, some seeking shelter elsewhere in the capital but most heading out of the city.

At least 14 civilians had been killed and about 36 wounded during the offensive, the OCHA said. Prime Minister Serraj toured the damaged area on Wednesday morning, his office said. Abu Salim lies about 8 km (5 miles) from the city centre, behind the front line of pro-Serraj forces blocking LNA troops to their south. "I saw the rockets fall. This is a crime by Khalifa Haftar," said one man who gave his name as Abdelrazaq.

ITALY FEARS "TERRORIST INFILTRATION"

International powers are aghast at the flare-up in Libya, which has scuppered a United Nations' peace plan, threatens to disrupt oil supplies from the OPEC nation, and may unleash a new wave of illegal migration across the Mediterranean to Europe.

But no common position has emerged given different sympathies towards the factions around the Gulf and Europe. Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Haftar's offensive had heightened the risk of militants joining migrant boats in the Mediterranean heading for his country.

"Islamist terrorist infiltration is no longer a risk, it has become a certainty: it is, therefore, my duty to reiterate that no docking will be allowed on Italian shores," Salvini, leader of the anti-immigrant League party, said in an interview with Radio Rai 1. Rome has blocked charity boats that rescue migrants in the Mediterranean from docking at Italian ports, saying the ships are aiding people smugglers and encouraging mass, unregulated immigration. The charities have denied breaking any laws.

The government has also accused the European Union of leaving Italy isolated in dealing with the migration crisis of recent years. Since Salvini took office last June, the number of new migrant arrivals has fallen more than 90 per cent. "Italy is working day and night for peace, dialogue and a ceasefire, so common sense might prevail," added Salvini of the Libya conflict. Rome is pushing for Haftar to halt his advance. Italy, with considerable oil interests in Libya, supports Serraj, bringing tensions with France which has backed Haftar in the past.

(With inputs from agencies.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...

Videos

Latest News

Rahane's mantra for 2nd Test: Show more intent and negate angles created by NZ pacers

Ajinkya Rahane wants to take on the New Zealand pace battery with more intent in the second Test and his foolproof strategy includes countering the awkward angles which became a nightmare for Indian batsmen during the first Test at the Basi...

IAF's C-17 Globemaster returns with 112 evacuees from coronavirus-hit Wuhan

The C-17 Globemaster aircraft of the Indian Air Force IAF landed here on Thursday morning from China with 112 evacuees, including 36 foreign nationals. The flight arrived at 645 am.All evacuees will be taken to the ITBP quarantine facility ...

UPDATE 1-Japanese woman confirmed as coronavirus case for 2nd time, weeks after initial recovery

A woman working as a tour-bus guide in Japan has tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, Osakas prefectural government said, the first known person in the country to do so amid growing concerns about the spread of the infecti...

Now, a storytelling tourism drive in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 27 PTI Soon, travellers will get to discover little known lores and unwrittenhistorical tales behind tourist destinations in Kerala, thanks to an innovative drive.The state-owned Bekal Resorts Development Corporation...

Give Feedback