Tripoli: Explosions have shaken Libya‘s capital Tripoli following an air strike, residents said, in an escalation of a two-week offensive by eastern forces on the city held by the internationally-recognised government. Residents had reported drone strikes in the past days, but there has been no confirmation. They said explosions heard in the city centre this time were louder than in previous days.
Residents counted several missile strikes which apparently hit a military camp of forces loyal to Tripoli in the Sabaa district.
Libya has for years been split between the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) in its west, and a rival administration in the east allied to renegade General Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) launched the offensive to seize Tripoli on April 4, but has been stopped in the city’s southern outskirts by forces allied to the GNA.
Haftar, 75, said the military campaign was aimed at cleansing Libya’s western region of the “remaining terrorist groups”.
This has raised fears of a full-blown civil war in the oil-rich country, which has been mired in chaos since the NATO-backed toppling of long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.