TRIPOLI, April 8 (NNN-ANADOLU) – Fierce clashes erupted Sunday between East Libya-based forces and government troops on the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli.
Gunfire was heard in southern and central Tripoli between forces led by commander Khalifa Haftar — who reportedly seeks to wrest control of the capital– and forces loyal to the UN-backed Government on National Accord (GNA), according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent.
At least 21 people were killed and 27 others were wounded in armed clashes in Libya’s capital, according to the Health Ministry under GNA.
Health Ministry spokesperson Amin Al-Hashemi told Anadolu Agency that civilians were among the casualties.
Local media outlets reported clashes as well in the vicinity of the old Tripoli International Airport, which has been seized by Haftar forces.
On Thursday, Haftar launched a military campaign to recapture Tripoli from the GNA forces.
Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when a NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after four decades in power.
Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power: one in the eastern city of Al-Bayda, to which Haftar is linked, and another in Tripoli.