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Iran Press TV

About 100 killed in two weeks of clashes in Tripoli

Iran Press TV

Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:11PM GMT

Nearly 100 people have been killed in two weeks of fighting among militants in Libya's capital, Tripoli, over control of the city's international airport.

The Libyan Health Ministry said on Sunday that the violence had left 97 people dead, a toll based on casualty reports from eight public hospitals in the city and its suburbs. Over 400 people were also injured.

The clashes in Tripoli began with an attack on the airport by a coalition of groups, which has since been supported by militants from the city of Misrata. The airport has been closed since July 13 because of the deadly skirmishes.

The attackers are fighting to flush out fellow former rebels from the hill town of Zintan, southwest of the capital, who have controlled the airport for the past three years.

Libya's interim government has warned that the clashes between those vying for control of the airport may tear the country apart.

Meanwhile, military and medical officials said on Sunday that 38 people, mostly soldiers, were killed in 24 hours of fighting between the army and militants in the eastern city of Benghazi.

According to military sources, the fighting broke out on Saturday when militant groups launched an assault on the headquarters of a unit of special forces near the city center.

Nearly three years after the fall of late leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is still grappling with rising insecurity as the country has been witnessing numerous clashes between government forces and rival militant groups.

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

Thousands of angry Libyan demonstrators frequently take to the streets in different cities to protest against the lack of security across the North African country.

MR/AB



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