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Airstrike hits military academy in Libya capital Tripoli, 30 killed

Airstrike hits military academy in Libya capital Tripoli, 30 killed


<p>The death toll from an airstrike that slammed into a military academy in Libya’s capital climbed to at least 30 people, most of them students, health authorities said Sunday.</p> <p>Tripoli has been the scene of fighting since April between the self-styled Libyan National Army led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter and an array of militias loosely allied with the weak but U.N.-supported government that holds the capital.</p> <p>The airstrike took place late Saturday in the capital’s Hadaba area, just south of the city center where fighting has been raging for months.</p> <p>The ambulance service in Tripoli said the airstrike also wounded at least 33 others. It posted images of dead bodies and wounded people being treated at a hospital.</p> <p>The U.N. Support Mission in Libyan condemned in “the strongest terms” the attack. The Tripoli-based government blamed the airstrike on the self-styled Libyan National Army. A spokesman for the <span class="caps">LNA</span> did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.</p> <p>The fighting for Tripoli escalated in recent weeks after Hifter declared a “final” and decisive battle for the capital. That followed a military and maritime agreement Tripoli authorities signed with their ally Turkey calling for the deployment of Turkish troops to Libya.</p> <p>The fighting has threatened to plunge Libya into violence and chaos rivaling the 2011 conflict that ousted and later killed its ruler Moammar Gadhafi.</p> <p>The country is now divided between the U.N.-supported administration in the west, and a rival government in the east aligned with the <span class="caps">LNA</span>.</p> <p>France, Russia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and other key Arab countries support Hifter and his allies in the east. The Tripoli-based government is backed by Qatar, Italy and Turkey.</p> <p><strong><em>AP</em></strong></p>
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