Death toll touches 52 after militias clashed in Tripoli


TRIPOLI: Forces loyal to Libya’s unity government said Saturday that 52 of its fighters were killed as they repelled rival militias in fierce clashes in the capital Tripoli.
Apart from sporadic gunfire in southern Tripoli, calm returned to the city on Saturday, the first day of Ramadan.
Among the 52 killed in Friday’s clashes which centered on the southern district of Abu Slim, said Hashem Bichr, a security official of the Government of National Accord, were 17 members of pro-GNA forces who had been “executed.”
There was no immediate confirmation from medical or other independent sources of the death toll, updated from Friday’s Health Ministry figures of 28 dead and more than 100 wounded that did not give a breakdown of the casualties.
UN special envoy Martin Kobler condemned the fighting in which heavy artillery and tanks were used, urging restraint from all sides.
Forces of the UN-backed GNA announced on their Facebook page they had defeated rival militias and taken control of a prison holding key leaders of the ousted regime of Muammar Qaddafi including his last premier, Baghdadi Al-Mahmudi, and former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi.
Al-Hadhba jail had been under the control of the Fajr Libya militia coalition, which had seized Tripoli in 2014 and set up a government headed by Khalifa Ghweil.