Security forces patrol in the south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on Jan. 18, 2019. The death toll of the violent clashes in south of the Libyan capital Tripoli between government-allied forces and an armed group rose to 13, the Ministry of Health said on Friday. (Xinhua)
TRIPOLI, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of the violent clashes in south of the Libyan capital Tripoli between government-allied forces and an armed group rose to 13, the Ministry of Health said on Friday.
"The clashes south of the capital Tripoli have killed 13 and 52 were wounded, including women and children, according to the statistics of the Health Ministry's Central Operating Chamber," the ministry said in a brief statement.
Southern Tripoli has been witnessing violent clashes between government forces and an armed group called the Seventh Brigade since Wednesday morning.
Residents said heavy gunfire and explosions could be heard in the area, as many civilians already fled the conflict area.
The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) warned the warring factions against breach of the cease-fire agreement concluded in September 2018, saying the escalation undermines the stability in the capital and endangers the lives of civilians and their properties.
The Seventh Brigade on Tuesday warned the UN-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Serraj against "military escalation" in southern Tripoli.
In August 2018, violent clashes broke out in southern Tripoli between government forces and the Seventh Brigade militia, killing 117 and injuring more than 500 others, mostly civilians.
The clashes ended with the warring parties signing a UN-sponsored cease-fire agreement, after which the government approved new security arrangements in Tripoli that focus on replacing armed groups with regular police and security forces.
Following the 2011 uprising that toppled former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the country has been suffering escalating violence and chaos, as well as political division.