13 killed, 30 injured in clashes between Libyan armed groups

TEHRAN, Jul. 23 (MNA) – At least 13 people have been killed in fighting between armed groups in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, a spokesman for the city’s emergency services said.

Fighters exchanged fire in a central district where several government and international agencies, along with diplomatic missions, are based, and clashes spread to the areas of Ain Zara and Asbaa on Friday.

It was the latest escalation to threaten the relative peace after nearly a decade of civil war in Libya, where two rival sets of authorities are locked in a political stalemate. The divisions have sparked several incidents of violence in Tripoli in recent months.

The fighting "killed 13 people, among them three civilians including a child aged 11, and wounded 30," the ambulance service told the news channel Libya al-Ahrar.

The United Nations Libya mission UNSMIL said it had received reports of civilian casualties and demanded an investigation.

"Any action that endangers the lives of civilians is unacceptable," it said in a tweet, calling on "all Libyans to do everything possible to preserve the country's fragile stability at this sensitive time".

The clashes occurred between two armed groups with major clout in the west of the war-torn country: the Al-Radaa force and the Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade.

Another brigade called "444" intervened to mediate a truce, deploying its armed vehicles in a buffer zone east of Tripoli, noted an AFP photographer.

According to Osama Ali, a spokesman for Libya’s Ambulance and Emergency Services, around 60 students who were stranded in the dormitories of the University of Tripoli due to the conflict were transported by ambulances.

Flights of Libyan Airlines from Cairo and Al Alamiya (Global Air) from Benghazi, which were supposed to land at Mitiga Airport, were diverted to Misrata, 200 kilometers east of Tripoli.

ZZ/PR

News Code 189355

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