Almost 400 Libyans dead following Haftar's assault on Tripoli, UN says

Almost 400 Libyans dead following Haftar's assault on Tripoli, UN says
Libya's capital has become a battleground, with around 50,000 people fleeing the fighting.
2 min read
Tripoli has seen intense fighting following Haftar's offensive [Getty]
The battle for Libya's capital has seen almost 400 people killed, with fighting forcing more than 50,000 people to flee their homes, the UN's World Health Organisation said on Friday.

Libyan militia leader Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on Tripoli last month, which is run by the UN-recongnised government.

Intense fighting, artillery bombardments and airstrikes has led to the deaths of at least 392 people with 1,936 peoople injured, the WHO said. 

It added that the fighting in heavily built-up areas have resulted in more than 50,000 people to flee their home, directly related to "the intensifying armed conflict in Tripoli", according to another UN body, the Organisation for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 

"We are concerned about the alarming figures of displacement," OCHA said on Friday on Twitter. 

Haftar's militia coalition he has named the Libyan National Army (LNA) began its offensive on Tripoli, run by the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) on 4 April. 

Forces loyal the GNA managed to hold off the assault and launch a counter-offensive, with the two sides stuck in a stalemate on the southern outskirts of the capital.

The GNA's education minister and head of the government's crisis committee, Othman Abdel Jalil, said on Thursday that some 55,000 people - some 11,000 families - had been displaced.  

Around 40 reception centres and 27 schools had been convered as shelters for the internal refugees. 

Most civilians who have been displaced from the fighting are staying with relatives or friends, without registering with the authorities, according to humanitarian agencies.

Jalil also said that the authorities have "put in place a strategic reserve of commodities that could last for several months". 

The UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are thought to be supporting Haftar's offensive on Tripoli.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab