News / Middle East

    Scores Dead in Libya Violence

    A damaged building is pictured after a shelling in Qaser Bin Ghashir, near the Tripoli International Airport, July 26, 2014.
    A damaged building is pictured after a shelling in Qaser Bin Ghashir, near the Tripoli International Airport, July 26, 2014.
    VOA News

    A violent 24 hours in Libya has left 61 people dead, raising the toll to nearly 150 in two weeks of clashes in the North African country.

    An estimated 38 people were killed in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi as government forces clashed with armed Islamist militants on Saturday and Sunday.

    And Egyptian workers are among the 23 dead in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, where deadly fighting between rival militias is entering a third week.

    Nearly 100 people have died in ongoing airport clashes alone since early July, as government forces struggle to control the worst surge in violence the country has seen since the 2011 war that ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi.

    A British embassy convoy headed to the Tunisian border was hit by gunfire Sunday during an attempted hijacking outside Tripoli. No one was injured.

    The United States, the United Nations and Turkey have removed diplomatic staff as violence escalated.

    Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, and Spain have joined several other countries, including the Britain, Turkey and the U.S. in recommending their citizens in Libya depart immediately.

    Italy said it had helped more than 100 of its citizens leave the country. Other governments, including the U.S. and Britain, are telling their citizens to leave by commercial means - a task rendered more difficult after service from Tripoli International Airport was stopped since clashes broke out nearby on July 13 between two armed factions fighting to control the facility.

    Video obtained by the Associated Press on Sunday showed a violent battle a day earlier, with black smoke rising from the remains of a large airplane on the tarmac.

    Residents in neighboring areas have been caught in the crossfire. Egyptian state media said Sunday the Egyptians in Tripoli were killed when a Grad rocket hit their farm home, killing everyone inside.

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    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 27, 2014 11:50 PM
    THE WORLD, can thank the US, EU, and NATO countries, and the Muslim Kingdoms and Gulf Emirates, (for making the world a safer place, by killing Qaddafi and his sons), and bringing freedom to Libyans to kill everybody, (without any plans to prevent what is happening), after Qaddafi and his sons were killed.... (more US planned, STUPIDITY?)..... REALLY

    by: Not Again from: Canada
    July 27, 2014 4:27 PM
    This is a terrible situation in Libya; the entire problem comes about from the attempts to implement a Western type of democratic system; it fails to recognize the root reality, that goes back centuries, and that is that Libya is and was a conglomerate of tribes.
    The democratic model of government needs to have a tribal component; much like the tribal component that existed even before the monarchy. Essentially, it needs to have a tribal council that represents the various tribes, on which much of the current militias are aligned with, such a council would be equivalent to an upper house or a Senate. Potentially even the monarchy should play a role, to try and stabilize the country. Under the current structure, tribalism will continue playing a very negative role and even make the instability worse.
    Egypt may need to play a more involved role, in mediating and in essence demilitarizing the militias.
    The current approach does not work; the dictatorship under the Ghadafi's regime, also did not work, he was able to keep tribal tensions underwrap, by mass jailings, excecutions and torture.
    Bottom line- a comprehensive review/revamp of the current political landscape needs to take place, in it tribal representatives need to have a significant voice in the way Libya moves from tribal militias, into a unitarian gvmt that works for all.

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