Tripoli death toll hits 10

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The death toll in clashes between rival militias in Tripoli has risen to 10 with 41 wounded this week, the health ministry said.

Fighting broke out this week between rival armed groups in the south of the capital, breaching a shaky ceasefire brokered by the United Nations in September which ended four weeks of violence.

The ministry said women and children were among the casualties.

Two residents told Reuters heavy gunfire lasted 72 hours in Tripoli’s southern suburb of Qaser Bin Ghashir, location of city’s international airport destroyed in previous clashes in 2014.

The most recent fighting broke out between a coalition of Tripoli militias, known as the Tripoli Protection Force (TPF), and the 7th Brigade, or Kaniyat, from Tarhouna,) south-east of Tripoli.

The Force said in a statement it controlled Qaser Bin Qashir, posting internet pictures of masked fighters and armoured vehicles in the streets.

Reuters was not able to verify this independently.

The 7th Brigade and allied groups triggered fighting last August in a bid to challenge the dominance of four “super militias”, including the Tripoli Protection Force, in the capital.

The internationally-recognised government in Tripoli, backed by the United Nations, has been working on a new security plan since the September ceasefire deal but achieved little.

Libya’s streets have been controlled by armed groups since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The country has competing governments in the east and west.