3 killed in shelling outside Tripoli

2014-09-17 14:35

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Tripoli - Three people were killed on Wednesday in shelling outside the Libyan capital after Islamist militias fighting in the area announced the death of one of their commanders, local news site al-Wasat reported.

The Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room said Mohammed al-Kilani, a member of the former interim parliament, had been killed in clashes that have pitted the Islamists against local fighters in Warshefana.

Libya's new parliament, which is meeting in Tobruk in the country's far east, has declared Warshefana a disaster area.

Bernardino Leon, the UN envoy to Libya, told the Security Council on Monday that the area was suffering "an unrelenting campaign of indiscriminate shelling, ... causing untold suffering on the part of the civilian population."

Dialogue and flexibility

"Tens of thousands of civilians are now known to have fled their homes," Leon said. "Many have also lost their lives as a result of the shelling, including women and children."

The Islamist and allied militias are trying to capture the area after last month seizing control last month of Tripoli, where they reinstalled the General National Congress, the former interim parliament.

Libya's second city, Benghazi, in the east, is also seeing continued clashes between more radical Islamist militias and forces loyal to retired general Khalifa Haftar.

Haftar launched an assault against the Islamists in May, but his forces have now been pushed out of most of the city.

Leon, who has repeatedly said the Tobruk-based parliament is Libya's legitimate legislature, nevertheless stressed that dialogue and "flexibility" were the only way to resolve the country's conflict.

"The small window of opportunity before us for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis should not be missed," he told the Security Council.

Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

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