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  • Shoes are pictured in a house damaged by shelling during the fighting between the eastern forces and internationally recognized government is pictured in Abu Salim in Tripoli, Libya April 15, 2019.

    Shoes are pictured in a house damaged by shelling during the fighting between the eastern forces and internationally recognized government is pictured in Abu Salim in Tripoli, Libya April 15, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 April 2019

The clashes have displaced more than 18,000 people, according to the latest figures from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

At least 147 people have been killed and 614 wounded in the offensive launched on April 4 by Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar to take the capital Tripoli, the World Health Organization said Monday.

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Fighting broke out as Haftar's forces sought to take control of Tripoli from loyalists of the internationally-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) which is based in the capital.

The GNA called for an end to the fighting on Monday and to move to political dialogue with eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar.

In a news conference in Tripoli, Interior Minister, Fathi Bashaga, heavily condemned the bombing of civilian areas, including schools and the latest demolition of a book storage unit carrying books for the upcoming academic year.

With fighting between the two sides entering its second week, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Siala, added that LNA troops must depart the capital in order to make way for a political resolution and ceasefire.

The rising number of casualties has prompted the World Health Organization to deploy surgical teams "to support Tripoli-area hospitals as they cope with the influx of trauma cases," the UN agency wrote on Twitter.

At least eight ambulances have been hit during clashes in the southern outskirts of the capital, as both sides have defied international calls to halt the fighting.

WHO urged "all parties to exercise restraint and avoid causing collateral damage to hospitals, ambulances and health workers."

In addition to ground fighting, both pro-government forces and Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) carry out daily air raids and accuse each other of targeting civilians.

The resulting casualties have left health facilities in "critical need of assistance," according to the United Nations refugee agency.

"The situation on the ground continues deteriorating and number of casualties soaring," UNHCR tweeted.

The fighting between the LNA and troops under the internationally-backed Tripoli government has killed at least 150 people, according to U.N. migration agency.

More than 18,000 people have been displaced by the fighting, 2,500 alone in the past 24 hours the U.N. migration agency added.

After sweeping up from the south, the LNA became bogged down in Tripoli's southern suburbs 11 km (7 miles) from the city centre. Several locations have changed hands more than once.


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