Libya rivals clash south of capital, causing blackouts

2018-09-18 20:12
(iStock)

(iStock)

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

New clashes flared between rival militias south of Libya's capital Tripoli on Tuesday, causing widespread power outages, the national electricity firm said.

The fighting underscored the fragility of a United Nations-backed ceasefire reached earlier this month after days of deadly violence between armed groups in the capital, beset by turmoil since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Tuesday morning's clashes centred on the main road to Tripoli's long-closed international airport, according to witnesses including an AFP journalist.

Libya's National Electricity Company said its network had been damaged, causing a total blackout across the North African nation's south and west.

Fighting which broke out late last month killed at least 63 people and wounded 159 others - mostly civilians - before the ceasefire came into effect on September 4.

Last week, the capital's only working airport came under rocket fire just days after reopening following the truce.

Mitiga International Airport, located in a former military base that includes a prison, is currently controlled by the Special Deterrence Forces, a Salafist militia which serves as Tripoli's police force and has been involved in clashes around the capital.

Interior Minister Abdessalam Ashour said on Monday that a "regular force" would be tasked with securing the airport.

UN envoy Ghassan Salame later reported 14 ceasefire violations around Tripoli, but sought to play them down, saying the deal had been "generally respected".

Tripoli's main airport has been out of action since it was severely damaged by similar clashes in 2014.

Since Gaddafi's fall in 2011, oil-rich Libya has been rocked by violence between dozens of armed groups vying for control of its cities and vast oil resources.

A UN-brokered agreement signed in Morocco in December 2015 established the Government of National Accord (GNA) in a bid to ease the chaos.

But deep divisions remain between the GNA and rivals including military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is based in eastern Libya and backs a competing authority.

The GNA last week announced a series of measures to secure the capital and curb the influence of militias over state institutions and banks.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    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
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.