The death toll from more than a week of fighting between armed groups in Tripoli has climbed to at least 50 people, including civilians, Libyan authorities said Tuesday, as the U.N. expressed alarm over the fate of detained migrants and Libyans already displaced by years of unrest.
Fighting erupted last week when the Seventh Brigade, militias which hail from Tarhouna, a town about 60 km south of Tripoli, attacked southern neighborhoods of the capital. The Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigades and the Nawasi Brigade - militias which support the U.N.-backed government - have come to the city’s defense.
In addition to those killed, another 138 people, including civilians, have been wounded, the Health Ministry said.
Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that overthrew long-ruling dictator Muammar Qaddafi and led to his death. The country is currently governed by rival authorities in Tripoli and the country’s east, each of which are backed by an array of militias. Other armed groups have carved out fiefdoms across the country, with many profiting from smuggling and extortion.
On Tuesday, a shell landed inside a former US Embassy compound in Tripoli, setting off a fire that ignited a fuel tank, an embassy official said. No one was wounded, and the fire did not reach the building itself, said the official, who was not authorized to brief media and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The embassy, which was relocated to Tunisia during heavy fighting in 2014, tweeted that the compound “was not impacted in today’s fuel tank fire, which occurred in the vicinity.”