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Blast kills 30 civilians in Libya’s Garabulli

22 June 2016 1:18



Some thirty people have been killed and dozens more wounded in an explosion at an ammunition depot in Libya’s western city of Garabulli.

According to officials, the arms depot was formerly in the control of an armed militant group — from the city of Misrata — who had been pushed out following the clashes with locals.

“The number of casualties is rising and we are working hard to transfer them to nearest hospitals,” said municipal official Mohamed Assayed.

He added that the blast occurred as locals tried to enter the camp, although it is still not clear how the explosion was triggered.

A local of the town, also known as Castelverde, said the clashes had broken out following a dispute between locals and a member of the militia who was refusing to pay at a shop.

Meanwhile, some 18 pro-government troops were killed during firefights with Daesh terrorists in various locations of Sirte as forces loyal to Libya’s unity government are preparing for a final assault on the northern port city. Sirte, the major stronghold of Daesh outside Iraq and Syria, fell to the Takfiri terrorists in February 2015.

The full recapture of the city would be a major boost to the Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, which has come to office through support from the United Nations.

Daesh has been taking advantage of the chaos embroiling Libya since the NATO-backed overthrow and death of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Forces loyal to Libya’s UN-backed unity government fire from a tank in Sirte’s center towards Ouagadougou as they advance to recapture the city from the Daesh on June 10, 2016. (AFP)

The oil-rich North African country has had two rival governments since 2014, when politician Khalifa Ghweil and his self-proclaimed government seized control of the capital, Tripoli, with the support of militia groups, forcing the internationally-recognized government to move to the country’s remote eastern city of Tobruk.

The two governments achieved a consensus on forming a unity government, the GNA, last December after months of UN-brokered talks in Tunisia and Morocco to restore order to the country.

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