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Libya's capital remains tense after more than 30 killed in violent clashes

AFP   -  
Copyright © africanews
MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP or licensors


Following Saturday's deadly clashes that took place in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, the Prime Minister of the Tripoli-based government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, stressed the need for elections.

Militias patrolled nearly deserted streets in Libya’s capital Sunday, a day after clashes killed over 30 people, and ended Tripoli’s monthslong stretch of relative calm.

The fighting broke out early Saturday and pitted militias loyal to the Tripoli-based government against other armed groups allied with a rival administration that has for months sought to be seated in the capital.

Residents fear the fighting that capped a monthslong political deadlock could explode into a wider war and a return to the peaks of Libya's long-running conflict.

Libya has plunged into chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

The oil-rich county has for years been split between rival administrations, each backed by rogue militias and foreign governments.

The current stalemate grew out of the failure to hold elections in December and Dbeibah's refusal to step down.

In response, the country’s east-based parliament appointed a rival prime minister, Fathy Bashagha, who has for months sought to install his government in Tripoli.

In a speech on Sunday, Dbeibah called on all Libyan parties to forget the conflicts of the past, stressing that the solution lies in elections.

Militia clashes are not uncommon in Tripoli.

Last month, at least 13 people were killed in militia fighting.

In May, Bashagha attempted to install his government in Tripoli, triggering clashes that ended with his withdrawal from the city.

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