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Libya says at least four killed in attacks on capital

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A fighter loyal to Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) stands next to destroyed cars following bombardment earlier in the day in the residential Bab Bin Ghashir neighbourhood of Libya’s capital Tripoli, on May 9, 2020. – Prior rocket and shell fire on Tripoli had killed at least 13 civilians and two policemen, Libya’s UN-recognised government said on May 8. The GNA accused forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar of carrying out the attacks, which it said continued overnight. (Photo by Mahmud TURKIA / AFP)

Libya’s Government of National Accord said at least four civilians, including a child, were killed when rockets rained down on the capital Tripoli and its only working airport Saturday.

The UN-recognised GNA blamed the attacks on eastern strongman Khalifa Haftar, who has been waging a campaign to take control of the capital since April last year.

“The forces of a war criminal (Haftar) fired more than a hundred rockets and missiles at residential areas in the centre of the capital Tripoli Saturday”, the GNA said in a statement on Facebook.

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At least four civilians, including a five-year-old girl, were killed and more than a dozen others wounded in the working-class neighbourhoods of Abu Slim and Ben Gashir south of the city, health ministry spokesman Amin al-Hashemi said.

Dozens of shots targeted Mitiga airport, hitting a civilian aircraft that was preparing to take off to repatriate Libyans stuck abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic, the GNA statement added.

The airport was badly damaged and was the target of further rocket fire on Sunday morning.

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An airport source said two civilian planes suffered serious damage.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) called the bombardment “an all too familiar but frightening spectacle”.

“These horrifying attacks occur on a regular basis in close proximity to civilian neighbourhoods”, UNSMIL said on Twitter.

It called the shelling “one in a series of indiscriminate attacks, most of which are attributable to pro-LNA (Haftar) forces, killing more than 15 and injuring 50 civilians since 1 May”.

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