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Eid ceasefire ends as fighting resumes in Tripoli: Libyan officials

Fighting around Tripoli between Libyan rogue general Khalifa Haftar’s forces and government militias resumed on Tuesday, marking the end of a two-day truce enacted for the Muslim Eid al-Adha celebration.Libyan officials said Tuesday that the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) led by commandar Haftar carried out airstrikes overnight on the southern outskirts of the Libyan capital.

Militias allied to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli also shelled Haftar’s forces in the area, the officials added.

On Saturday, both sides had accepted a UN-proposed truce during Eid al-Adha, which began Sunday.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to reporters.

Hafter’s forces launched an offensive in April to capture Tripoli. The fighting has killed over 1,100 people, mostly combatants, and displaced more than 100,000 civilians.

The battle lines have changed little over recent weeks.

The ceasefire was not without altercations. Rocket fire hit Tripoli’s sole functioning airport Sunday, violating the temporary truce.

Late Sunday a joint statement from the United Arab Emirates, the United States, France, Italy and the UK welcomed the UN truce for the Muslim holiday and said they were “ready to assist the UN mission in monitoring the observance of the truce and address any attempt to break it”.

But the GNA blamed Haftar’s forces for the attack against the airport, and for a separate alleged attack in the Soug al-Jomaa district of Tripoli.

“Haftar’s militias have violated the truce twice,” GNA spokesman Mustafa al-Mejii told AFP.

“The first time targeted a home in Soug al-Jomaa, wounding three civilians, and the second hit Mitiga airport,” he added.

Libyan TV channels also reported exchanges of fire around the road to the closed international airport on Sunday.

The truce had come after UN envoy Ghassan Salame had already called several times for humanitarian ceasefires, without success.

The joint statement from the five countries urged the parties to use the truce to “pave the way for a sustainable ceasefire and a return to a constructive, inclusive dialogue” towards a “lasting political solution.”

Libya has been mired in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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