Libya: Three killed in Tripoli Shelling Blamed on Haftar’s LNA

Rockets by Khalifa Haftar’s LNA struck port of Tripoli, Mitiga International Airport and coastal road.

haftar's LNA attack tripoli
image-flickr

In the latest round of clashes in Libya, at least three people, including a civilian, were killed in the rocket attacks launched by Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA). On Friday, the rocket strikes hit the areas near the country’s capital Tripoli.

The spokesperson of internationally recognized government said that the strikes hit the Tripoli port, an important coastal road, and Mitiga international airport. The GNA government has launched a campaign, dubbed as Operation Volcano of Rage, to combat Haftar’s offensive to capture the capital.

Libyan health ministry said that two members of security staff and one civilian were killed. It further added that four other people were also injured in the Friday rocket strikes. In a statement, the foreign minister of Libya asserted that the attacks did not comply with international laws as they struck coastal road and airport, which are near residential areas of Turkish and Italian ambassadors.

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Italian foreign ministry also responded to the attacks and said that these attacks are unacceptable and against international and humanitarian law. Meanwhile, four members of Haftar’s army surrendered to the Tripoli-based GNA government on Friday at al-Watiya airbase, local media reported.

The southwestern base of al-Wataniya is considered a key airbase in Libya. In 2014, Haftar’s LNA captured it and made it their headquarters, especially for western operations.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Haftar’s forces shelled Tripoli twice, resulting in at least more than five civilian deaths and dozens injured. According to al-Hashemi, LNA artillery attacked Abu Salim and Tajoura, two main territories of Tripoli. It added that many paramedical staff and children were among the 46 injured civilians.

He said it was the first time since the beginning of this year that the residential areas were heavily shelled and attacked. In April last year, Haftar launched an offensive to capture the entire city, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds and thousands of people displaced.

The middle-eastern country has been engulfed in crisis since 2011 when the government of Muammar Gaddafi was toppled. Since 2015, Libya has been struggling between two strong factions in east and west, both backed by powerful foreign powers.

GNA’s Tripoli-based government is backed by Qatar, Italy, and Turkey. In January, turkey deployed Syrian fighters to defend the capital against the LNA attacks. On the other hand, Haftar’s LNA is backed by Russia, France, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.

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