TRIPOLI: Rocket fire on the Libyan capital Tripoli, which the UN-recognised government blamed on military strongman Khalifa Haftar, killed six people ahead of a Security Council meeting on Wednesday over a ceasefire, reports AFP.
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 the capital from the government and its militia allies.
The LNA blamed the rocket fire on the “terrorist militias” whose grip on the capital it says it is fighting to end.
The bombardment came as diplomats at the UN Security Council began negotiations on a British-drafted resolution that would demand an immediate ceasefire in Libya.