At least 14 soldiers have lost their lives and another 24 have been wounded during the Libyan National Army’s assaults on a camp occupied by the Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militants in the capital Tripoli, a military source says.
“Battalion 101 on Friday completely controls the Libya Dawn camp in Tajura area,” an army officer told China’s official Xinhua news agency on condition of anonymity on Friday.
The army also captured the Ghut al-Rumman gate of Tajura in the east of Tripoli, the officer added.
meanwhile, a pro-government military source told AFP that 21 people died in the Friday attack. “14 soldiers, four fighters from Fajr Libya, and three women were killed today in Tajura,” he said, adding that the women were killed accidentally in rocket fire.
However, a spokesman for the militants in Tripoli confirmed the attack but provided conflicting facts and figures about the Friday attack.
“Thirty-two members of the attacking forces were killed,” Mohamad Shami said, claiming that “Fajr Libya is in full control of Tajura, and there are minor clashes near… the 101 camp where some of the attackers are still there and Fajr Libya forces are surrounding them.”
The supporters of the Libyan army in Tajura closed the main road of the area to cut possible supply to Fajr Libya militants, some witnesses said.
Also on Friday, fierce battles erupted between the militants and the army forces in the al-Azizia and al-Zahra areas in western Tripoli.
Libya plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Since the ouster of Gaddafi, heavily-armed militias with deep political divisions are in control of the North African state.
The two rival camps vying for control over the resource-rich country, one controlling Tripoli, and the other, Libya’s internationally recognized government ruling the eastern cities of Bayda and Tobruk, have not been able to stabilize the situation despite intervention and aid from international peace brokers, including the UN.
Libya’s government and elected parliament moved to Tobruk after the Fajr Libya seized Tripoli and most government institutions in August 2014 and set up its own government and parliament.
The UN is facilitating negotiations between Libya’s warring sides on forming a unity government in the country. The talks have failed to deliver any practical results so far.
On Monday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a statement, urging the rival sides to “agree on arrangements on the formation of a national unity government to end Libya’s political, security and institutional crisis.”