At least 32 dead, over hundred injured in Libya clashes

At least 32 dead, over hundred injured in Libya clashes

Tripoli (Web Desk): At least 32 people were killed and more than hundred were injured in clashes between backers of rival governments.

The fighting came after months of mounting tensions between backers of Abdulhamid Dbeibah and Fathi Bashagha, whose rival administrations are vying for control of the North African country which has seen more than a decade of violence since a 2011 uprising.

Armed groups exchanged fire that damaged several hospitals and set buildings on fire starting on Friday evening, the worst fighting in the Libyan capital since a landmark 2020 ceasefire.

A cautious calm had set in by Saturday evening and the health ministry said on Sunday morning that 32 people had been killed and 159 wounded during the clashes.

Dbeibah’s administration, installed in the capital as part of a United Nations-led peace process last year, has so far prevented Bashagha from taking office there, arguing that the next administration should be the product of elections.

Bashagha was appointed by Libya’s eastern-based parliament earlier this year and is backed by powerful eastern military chief Khalifa Haftar, whose 2019 attempt to seize the capital by force turned into a year-long civil war.

Bashagha, a former interior minister, had initially ruled out the use of violence to take power in Tripoli but subsequently hinted that he could resort to force.

Libya plunged into chaos following the 2011 overthrow and killing of its leader Moammar Qadhafi in a Nato-backed uprising, with myriad armed groups and foreign powers moving to fill the power vacuum.

Certain armed groups seen as neutral in the latest crisis moved to back Dbeibah this weekend to push back Bashagha’s second attempt to enter the capital.