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Sunday, 05 July 2020

Rocket fire kills five civilians in Libya capital: ministry

AFP , Sunday 31 May 2020
Libya
FILE PHOTO: A member of Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar, points his gun to the image of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan hanged on a Turkish military armored vehicle, which LNA said they confiscated during Tripoli clashes, in Benghazi, Libya January 28, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
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Rocket fire on the Libyan capital killed at least five civilians on Sunday, the UN-recognised government said, blaming rival forces of strongman Khalifa Haftar for the attack.

"Five civilians were killed and 12 wounded" when five rockets crashed into residential sectors of Tripoli, said Amine al-Hachemi, spokesman for the Government of National Accord's health ministry.

Several of the wounded were in serious condition, including one who underwent a limb amputation, Hachemi added.

He said forces of strongman Haftar, who controls much of eastern and southern Libya, targeted the Soug el-Tlath roundabout and Gharbi street in the centre of Tripoli.

Haftar launched an offensive in April last year to seize control of capital, where the GNA is based.

The conflict -- exacerbated by the involvement of foreign powers -- has so far killed hundreds of people, many of them civilians, and forced the displacement of 200,000 others.

Although the battle for Tripoli has stalled on the ground, the south and centre of the capital have been the target of indiscriminate rocket fire and drone attacks in recent weeks.

Haftar's forces have lost key positions to pro-GNA forces elsewhere in the country since April.

During the first week of May, at least 15 civilians were killed and 50 others wounded in rocket and drone attacks on Tripoli.

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