Scores Dead in Libya Violence
by VOA News July 27, 2014
A violent 24 hours in Libya has left 61 people dead, raising the toll to nearly 150 in two weeks of clashes in the North African country.
An estimated 38 people were killed in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi as government forces clashed with armed Islamist militants on Saturday and Sunday.
And Egyptian workers are among the 23 dead in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, where deadly fighting between rival militias is entering a third week.
Nearly 100 people have died in ongoing airport clashes alone since early July, as government forces struggle to control the worst surge in violence the country has seen since the 2011 war that ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi.
A British embassy convoy headed to the Tunisian border was hit by gunfire Sunday during an attempted hijacking outside Tripoli. No one was injured.
The United States, the United Nations and Turkey have removed diplomatic staff as violence escalated.
Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, and Spain have joined several other countries, including the Britain, Turkey and the U.S. in recommending their citizens in Libya depart immediately.
Italy said it had helped more than 100 of its citizens leave the country. Other governments, including the U.S. and Britain, are telling their citizens to leave by commercial means - a task rendered more difficult after service from Tripoli International Airport was stopped since clashes broke out nearby on July 13 between two armed factions fighting to control the facility.
Video obtained by the Associated Press on Sunday showed a violent battle a day earlier, with black smoke rising from the remains of a large airplane on the tarmac.
Residents in neighboring areas have been caught in the crossfire. Egyptian state media said Sunday the Egyptians in Tripoli were killed when a Grad rocket hit their farm home, killing everyone inside.
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