63 dead, 12 missing in Libya's Tripoli clashes

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-06 06:12:26|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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TRIPOLI, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- A total of 63 people died and 12 went missing in the clashes in capital Tripoli, said the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, a day after the UN announcement of a cease-fire agreement between the warring parties.

"There have been 63 deaths and 12 missing so far. 159 people have been treated, and 51 others were taken to Tunisia for medical treatment," said Tarek Al-Hamshri, director of the ministry's department of wounded affairs, at a press conference.

Southern Tripoli witnessed violent clashes between government forces and militants of the so-called seventh brigade militia from the nearby city of Tarhuna, some 80 km southeast Tripoli.

"The situation in the capital of Tripoli is stable and normal," Interior Minister Abdul Salam Ashour said at the press conference.

Minister of Transport Milad Matug said that Tripoli's only functioning airport is expected to resume flights in the next 24 hours, after it was closed for days due to the clashes and flights were redirected to the international airport of the city of Misurata, some 200 km east of Tripoli.

Matug confirmed that the airport has not been harmed, stressing that "all workers are ready to resume work as soon as the security situation is stable enough."

The governments of France, Italy, Britain, and the United States on Tuesday welcomed the cease-fire agreement in Tripoli, considering it a "critical step to advancing the political process in accordance with the United Nations Action Plan."

Following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Gaddafi's regime, Libya has been suffering escalating violence, chaos and political division.