Libyan government warns against new military escalation in Tripoli

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Libya’s UN-backed government on Saturday warned against a new military escalation by the rival eastern-based army in the capital Tripoli.

“The Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord is following up media and UN reports about preparations for a new military escalation by the aggressor forces on the capital Tripoli, which include airstrikes on civilian installations,” the government said in a statement.

“The council confirms its readiness to deter and defeat any new aggression and calls upon the UN Mission and the international community to assume their responsibilities regarding the intentions of the aggressor militias (army) to target civilians,” the statement said.

The army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, has been leading a military campaign since early April to take over the capital Tripoli from the government.

The army is allied with the eastern-based government, as the north African nation is politically divided between eastern and western governments.

Libya has been suffering escalating violence and political instability ever since the fall of the government of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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