Tripoli shelled


Artillery shells hit the centre of the Libyan capital, which eastern forces have been trying to take in a near year-long war, on Tuesday residents said.

Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National army (LNA) faction moved on Tripoli held by the internationally recognised government in April, failing to breach defences in southern suburbs and dragging civilians into the conflict.

Shells landed late at night in the central Nouflin and Souq al-Jumaa districts, mostly spared from conflict to now, a Reuters reporter said.

Parts of the capital were plunged into darkness as power failed. The electricity grid has been hit often.

There was no immediate word on casualties and no further details available. The war displaced about 150 000 people, according to the UN.

Haftar is backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Jordan, Sudanese and Chadian fighters as well as and most recently, Russian mercenaries. France has also given some support.

That prompted Turkey to come to the aid of Tripoli Premier Fayez al-Serraj sending troops to Tripoli. Up to 2 000 fighters from Syria’s civil war have joined the battle to defend the capital, a UN official said.

Both sides held ceasefire talks last week in Geneva but repeatedly blame each other for daily violations of a shaky truce declared a month ago.