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Rival factions in Libya continue to fight over power

Intense fighting erupted in Libya’s capital city of Tripoli overnight and lasted until Saturday morning. Rival factions trying to take control of the country’s government exchanged heavy gunfire around the city.

The clashes took place in Tripoli’s city centre, witnesses said. Armed groups increasingly mobilised around the capital in recent weeks.

Pictures and videos shared online of the city centre, which Reuters could not immediately verify, showed military vehicles speeding through the streets, fighters shooting and local residents trying to douse fires.

Fighting continues in #Tripoli between armed groups led by Haitem Tajouri and Stability Support Force

— The Libya Observer (@Lyobserver) August 27, 2022

“This is horrible. My family and I could not sleep because of the clashes. The sound was too loud and too frightening,” a central Tripoli resident said. “We stayed awake in case we had to leave quickly. It’s a terrible feeling,” he added.

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There was no immediate comment from the interior and health ministries regarding the fighting, which stopped late in the morning.

The main two political groups involved in the conflict are the Government of National Unity in Tripoli under Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah and a rival administration under Fathi Bashagha, which is backed by the eastern-based parliament.

The division in Libya has deepened over the years with no peaceful solution to the problem in sight.

The United Nations mission in the country warned this week against any attempt to resolve the dispute through violence.

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