At least 16 dead, 52 wounded in Libya as rival militias clash

Photo taken on July 23, 2022 shows a damaged house in Tripoli, Libya. The death toll from clashes between two rival armed groups in the Libyan capital Tripoli has increased to 16, and the injuries to 52, the Libyan Ministry of Health said on Saturday. (Photo by Hamza Turkia/Xinhua)

At least 16 people were killed and 52 others were wounded as armed groups loyal to Libya’s rival governments continued to fight in the capital Tripoli and in Misurata, the seats of the country’s competing leaders.

Several sources told media that one of the armed groups detained a fighter belonging to the other, leading to violence in the capital.

Photo taken on July 23, 2022 shows a damaged house in Tripoli, Libya. The death toll from clashes between two rival armed groups in the Libyan capital Tripoli has increased to 16, and the injuries to 52, the Libyan Ministry of Health said on Saturday. (Photo by Hamza Turkia/Xinhua)

On Friday, a group called the 444 Brigade intervened to mediate a truce, sending its forces into a buffer zone before they, too, came under fire, AFP reported.

The clashes in Tripoli began on Thursday and continued on Friday. Violence erupted in Misurata, a coastal city about 200 kilometres to the east, on Saturday, prompting the US government to speak out against escalation.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Friday expressed concern about the clashes, and called on all Libyans to do everything possible to preserve the country’s “fragile stability at this sensitive time.”

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