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Iran Press TV

Two weeks of ethnic clashes kill 154 in Libya

Iran Press TV

Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:39PM GMT

The Libyan Health Ministry says two weeks of violent clashes in the country have killed at least 154 people and injured 463 more.

The ministry said in a statement issued on Saturday that the deaths occurred in ethnic clashes in Sebha and Wershefana. Sebha is a major city in the south while Wershefana is a town located west of the capital Tripoli.

Earlier in the day, Abdallah Ouheida, the director of the hospital in Sebha in the south, said that the ethnic violence in the region has killed at least 88 people and wounded more than 130 others.

'Between the outbreak of the fighting on January 11 and Friday evening, the number of dead totaled 88,' Ouheida said.

He added that the death toll could be higher as many of the dead and injured were taken to other hospitals in the region.

Libyans rose up against former dictator Muammar Gaddafi's four-decade rule in February 2011 and deposed him in August 2011. He was slain on October 20 of the same year.

Since 2011, Benghazi has been the scene of numerous attacks and political assassinations amidst increasing power struggle among several militias who fought against Gaddafi during the uprising.

The former rebels refuse to lay down their arms, despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.

Over the past few months, Tripoli and its suburbs have been hit by violent clashes between rival militias.

In an interview with Press TV in October last year, political commentator Johnny Miller said that Libya is on the verge of becoming a failed state.

Libya "really is close to being a failed state. I mean you have the situation where the government is very, very weak. You have the streets ruled by militias, affiliated with the government, but also acting unilaterally by themselves," he said.


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