Death toll nears 190 in Tripoli as Russia shields strongman Haftar at UN
Diplomats warn foreign powers backing rival sides in Libya threaten to turn the conflict into a full-blown proxy war
Tripoli — The death toll from rocket fire on the Libyan capital Tripoli that the UN-recognised government blamed on strongman Khalifa Haftar climbed to six on Wednesday, as diplomats sought to negotiate a ceasefire. Diplomats have long complained that Libyan peace efforts have been stymied by major powers backing the rival sides, with Haftar ally Russia quibbling over the proposed wording of the ceasefire demand even as the bombardment of Tripoli intensifies. Three of the six killed in the rocket fire on the south Tripoli neighbourhoods of Abu Salim and Al-Antisar late on Tuesday were women, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA. Abu Salim mayor Abdelrahman al-Hamdi confirmed the death toll and said 35 other people were wounded.
AFP journalists heard seven loud explosions as rockets also hit the city centre, the first since Haftar's Libyan National Army militia launched an offensive on April 4 to capture Tripoli from the government and its mi...