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U.S. concerned as U.N.-backed government forces are attacked near Libyan capital Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 24, 2021


At least 11 people were killed and 46 injured, according to Reuters, when U.N.-backed government forces were attacked near Tripoli on Sunday evening.

The air strikes on the southern part of Tripoli were carried out by the Libyan National Army (LNA) force of Khalifa Haftar, which backs a parallel administration in the east.

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Last week, LNA launched an advance on Tripoli in the west, home to the internationally recognized government backed the United States and the United Nations.

The air strikes on the southern part of Tripoli on Sunday helped the Libyan National Army force of Khalifa Haftar make progress toward the city center, escalating an operation to take the capital as the United Nations failed to achieve a truce.

The Libyan ministry of health did not say who were those who died.

As the situation escalated, the Trump administration released a statement, calling for a secession of hostilities.

“The United States is deeply concerned about fighting near Tripoli,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“We have made clear that we oppose the military offensive by Khalifa Haftar’s forces and urge the immediate halt to these military operations against the Libyan capital. Forces should return to status quo ante positions. All involved parties have a responsibility to urgently de-escalate the situation, as the UN Security Council and G7 ministers emphasized on April 5. This unilateral military campaign against Tripoli is endangering civilians and undermining prospects for a better future for all Libyans.

“There is no military solution to the Libya conflict. This is why the United States continues to press Libyan leaders, together with our international partners, to return to political negotiations mediated by UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ghassan Salame. A political solution is the only way to unify the country and provide a plan for security, stability, and prosperity for all Libyans,” Pompeo added.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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