32 people killed, 159 wounded after clashes break out in Tripoli

32 people killed, 159 wounded after clashes break out in Tripoli

Relative calm restored on Sunday morning in Tripoli after a day of deadly violence between militias backed by Libya’s two rival administrations.

At least 32 people were killed and 159 injured, said the Health Ministry of the Government of National Unity. It added that 64 families were evacuated from areas around the fighting.

Among the fatalities was Mustafa Baraka, an actor and comedian known for his social media content. Baraka died after he was shot in his chest, according to press reports.

The international community, including western powers such as the U.S., UK and Italy, have condemned the violence and called for end to all hostilities. Meanwhile, the U.N. reminded “all parties of their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian objects.”

The clashes involved armed groups that back the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity, led by Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, against forces of Fathi Bashagha, who was selected as interim premier by Libya’s House of Representatives last February after Dbeibeh’s government failed to organize national elections in December 2021 as per the UN-led peace plan.

Dbeibeh refused to relinquish power, which led to several abortive attempts by Bashagha to forcefully enter Tripoli.

Peace remains elusive in Libya as political stalemate continue between the two rival leaders, both of whom enjoy the support of powerful armed groups in the capital.