Libya’s defense ministry condemns armed clashes in Tripoli

TRIPOLI, LIBYA - MAY 15: Libyan National Accord Government troops clash military commander Khalifa Haftar's troops on course of the airport in Al Sawani region of Tripoli, Libya on May 15, 2019. (Photo by Amru Salahuddien/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Defense Ministry of Libya’s UN-backed government on Saturday condemned the clashes that erupted on Friday in east of the capital Tripoli between two armed groups.

“The clashes that broke out earlier at Friday dawn between two battalions in Tajurea (eastern Tripoli) is an act that violates the security of the Libyan state and threatens the safety of civilians,” the ministry said in a statement.

“We continue to enforce the law on everyone, in respect to the sacrifices of our people and their quest to build a civil democratic state,” the statement said.

The statement also confirmed that all forces of the Defense Ministry “answer to the supreme leader of the Libyan army.”

According to local media, clashes erupted earlier on Friday between two armed groups in Tajoura of eastern Tripoli.

Local residents said that heavy explosions and gun firing could be heard loudly in large parts of eastern Libya, causing panic in the area.

The UN-backed government’s Minister of Defense, Salah Addin Al-Namroush, confirmed that the two groups have been dismantled and their leaders were referred to investigation by the military prosecutor.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Friday expressed concern over clashes, stressing the urgent need for reform of the Libyan security sector.

Libya has been suffering escalating violence and unrest ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.

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