Fresh fighting reported in Libya's Tripoli despite ceasefire
Libya's main international airport has been reduced to rubble from fighting between Zintan and Misrata militias over the past week alone (Mahmud Turkia/AFP)
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Fresh fighting in Libya's capital was reported Friday despite earlier news that a ceasefire between the warring militias had been reached, according to Agence France Presse.
AFP correspondents reported that gunfire and blasts were heard in the capital's Abu Slim neighborhood, approximately fifteen kilometers south of the airport, where rival militias Zintan and Misrata have been brutally fighting over the past week.
Friday's fighting arrives just hours after a so-called ceasefire was announced that was allegedly brokered by the city's governing council.
The Islamist Misrata and anti-Islamist Zintan fighters have been clashing for days at Tripoli's main airport, with dozens killed within the past four days alone. While representatives from both groups confirmed that a ceasefire was indeed reached, spokesman Ahmed Hadeia from the Misrata fighters emphasized that the ceasefire only pertained to fighting "around the airport," and did not include the other Zintan-controlled areas that Misrata may target.
The renewed fighting comes shortly after Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz made an appeal to the UN Security Council Thursday to help Tripoli prevent the country from deteriorating into a "failed state."
Specifically, Abdelaziz has requested experts from the UN to train Libya's security forces so that the latter can better protect the country's vital resources-such as its oil fields-from further violence, fighting, and subsequent damage and destruction.
The council released a statement condemning the recent violence at the airport, and announced that they are still under discussion with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon as to how the international body can provide support to Tripoli accordingly.