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Libya asks UN to investigate Haftar’s attacks on civilians

Libya has asked the UN Security Council to dispatch a fact-finding mission to investigate attacks on civilians in Tripoli, according to a letter released Thursday.

Libya’s UN-recognised government said forces loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar had killed and displaced civilians, destroyed property, recruited child soldiers and used heavy artillery and Grad missiles on populated areas.

The government requested that the council “delegate a fact-finding mission to investigate the violations committed by the attacking forces in the city of Tripoli,” said the letter dated April 18 from Libyan Ambassador Elmahdi Elmajerbi.

The council has been unable to agree on a draft resolution put forward by Britain demanding a ceasefire in Tripoli after Haftar’s forces launched an offensive on April 4 to seize the capital.

Russia has opposed a text that singles out Haftar for criticism while the United States has asked for more time to consider the situation, according to UN diplomats.

After forces loyal to the Tripoli-based government of national unity launched a counter-attack last weekend, the International Committee for the Red Cross warned that residential areas of Tripoli were being turned into battlefields.

At least 278 people have been killed and more than 1,300 wounded in the clashes, according to the World Health Organization.

More than 35,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.

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