Libya Tripoli airport BOMBED in air strike - all flights suspended

Libya Tripoli airport BOMBED in air strike - all flights suspended

Libya Tripoli airport BOMBED in air strike - all flights suspended

A US amphibious hovercraft departs with evacuees from Janzur, west of Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, April 7, 2019.

The UN has said that 2,800 people have fled from the fighting near Libya's capital, with the Ministry of Public Health already revealing that at least 25 people had been killed and 80 wounded.

Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) forces have been advancing on Tripoli for several days, vowing to eliminate "terrorists and extremists" there.

A "national conference" had been scheduled to take place next week to try to negotiate a political settlement, but Haftar's abrupt decision to assault the capital has put an end to that for the foreseeable future.

Dozens of people have been killed and thousands displaced in the fighting since Haftar's forces launched their onslaught against Tripoli and its unity government on Thursday, April 4.

The government based in Tripoli now enjoys global recognition and some Western support, while the government in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk has benefited from the support of Egypt, the Saudis, and the United Arab Emirates.

The government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, who has run Tripoli since 2016 as part of a United Nations -brokered deal that Haftar boycotted, is seeking to repel the LNA with the help of armed groups from Misrata.

Mr Serraj has run Tripoli since 2016 as part of a UN-brokered deal boycotted by Mr Haftar.

It reported 11 deaths without saying on which side.

The UN Support Mission in Libya's (UNSMIL) head Ghassan Salame condemned the aerial attack on Mitiga airport in a statement.

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The violence has thrown into doubt a United Nations plan for an April 14 to16 conference to plan elections as a way out of the anarchy since the Western-backed toppling of Gaddafi eight years ago.

Mr Haftar casts himself as a foe of extremism but is viewed by opponents as a new dictator in the mould of Gaddafi, whose four-decade rule was marked by torture, disappearances and assassinations.

The LNA says it has 85,000 men, but this includes soldiers paid by the central government that it hopes to inherit.

The media office for Haftar's army said 22 troops had been killed.

Libya has become the main conduit for African migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe, with many detained if their journey fails and they are sent back.

Mismari said that the LNA had lost only two members in the fighting.

Islamic State staged some high profile attacks in Tripoli past year, but the militant group has largely retreated to the desert of southern Libya since the loss of its former stronghold in Sirte in late 2016.

France established close relations with Haftar under the Socialist government of former President Francois Hollande and his defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Hifter's forces have clashed with rival militias which support the United Nations -backed government that controls Tripoli and the western part of the country.

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