WHO says over 200 killed in fighting over Libyan capital

A military vehicle belonging to the Libyan internationally recognized pro-government forces stands at a checkpoint in Ain Zara, south of Tripoli. (Reuters)

The fighting between Libya’s rival factions for control of the country’s capital this month killed 205 people so far, the World Health Organization said, announcing it would deploy medical specialists, including surgeons, to treat the wounded.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that “the number of civilian casualties, and attacks on civilian property and infrastructure, are worryingly on the rise.”

The clashes, which erupted earlier in April, have threatened to ignite a civil war on the scale of the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Muammar Gaddafi.

The fighting has also forced the UN to indefinitely postpone reconciliation talks planned for mid-April that were meant to try to find a way to pull Libya out of the chaos that followed Gaddafi’s ouster.

WHO said on Wednesday it would send medical staff to treat the wounded, whose number has reached 913. It wasn’t clear how many among the dead are civilians.

Fighting over Tripoli is pitting the self-styled Libyan National Army based in the country’s east, which is led by commander Khalifa Haftar, against Tripoli’s UN-recognized government.

The UN says that more than 25,000 people have been displaced in the clashes.

Last Update: 21:38 KSA 00:38 - GMT 21:38