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Clashes in Tripoli kill at least 23 people

Violence in the streets of Tripoli   -  
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MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP or licensors -

Libya

Clashes in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, resulted in at least 23 dead.

The clashes between rival factions vying for the control of the country erupted on Friday and continued during Saturday.

Six hospitals were hit and ambulances were unable to reach areas affected by the clashes, according to the health authorities.

"Civil society institutions in Tripoli appeal to everyone to be calm, and we remind them of the prohibition of bloodshed and intimidation of civilians, and that legal and criminal prosecution will affect everyone who was the cause of the situation in Tripoli. God preserve Libya", said Omar Weheba, Member of the Council of Elders at Tripoli Municipality Council.

Abdulhamid Dbeibah's government of national unity, GNU, installed as part of a United Nations-led peace process following a previous round of violence, is challenged by a rival government in the east of the country led by former interior minister Fathi Bashagha.

Bashagha, who is backed by Libya's parliament and eastern-based military strongman Khalifa Haftar, says the GNU's mandate has expired.

So far he has been unable to take office in Tripoli, as Dbeibah has insisted on only handing power to an elected government.

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