Libya government forces overrun Tripoli militia HQ

2017-03-15 17:59
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - Forces loyal to Libya's UN-backed unity government overran the headquarters of a rival militia on Wednesday as artillery exchanges rocked the capital for a third day, a security source said.

Libya has experienced years of violence and lawlessness since the Nato-backed ouster of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, with rival parliaments and governments trading barbs and militias fighting over territory and the country's vast oil wealth.

Militia loyal to former prime minister Khalifa Ghweil, whose administration was replaced by the UN-backed Government of National Accord last year, have stepped up a campaign of defiance against its authority.

But overnight, government forces launched an assault on the militia's headquarters in the Guest Palace, a complex of luxury villas in the city centre, and overran it after heavy fighting.

"It's over. Ghweil's forces have pulled out and GNA forces have taken control of the area," a witness told AFP.

A security source confirmed the militia's withdrawal. He had no immediate word on any casualties.

It was the third straight day of fighting between government forces and the militia, who are mainly drawn from Ghweil's hometown, third city Misrata.

'Immediate ceasefire'

The sound of gunfire and explosions was heard from multiple neighbourhoods of the capital.

A rocket hit the Al-Khadhra Hospital without causing any casualties, a medic said.

Overnight, gunmen stormed the headquarters of Al-Nabaa television, a privately owned channel known for its Islamist leanings, witnesses said.

The channel remained off the air on Wednesday.

The fighting brought life in the capital to a standstill with schools and shops closed.

It came despite an appeal from UN Libya envoy Martin Kobler on Tuesday for an "immediate ceasefire".

"Civilians at grave risk in ongoing clashes," Kobler said on Twitter.

The clashes erupted in the neighbourhoods of Hay al-Andalus and Gargaresh on Monday evening, prompting the government to deploy tanks.

They came as heavy fighting rocked the east of Libya where forces loyal to military strongman Khalifa Haftar announced their recapture of two key oil ports on Tuesday.

Haftar's forces, which do not recognise the UN-backed government, mounted a day-long assault by land, sea and air to retake the ports of Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidra, after they were seized by a rival, Islamist-led force earlier this month.

Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.