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Battle for Libyan capital intensifies, death toll rises

The battle for Libya’s capital intensified over the last days, as forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, a military leader who is challenging the legitimacy of the internationally recognized Libyan government in Tripoli, continued their advance.

Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) reported 19 deaths and the Tripoli government 11, although it was unclear if the latter number also included LNA forces. The United Nations is warning that the fighting has already displaced 2,800 people and that some civilians are trapped between the warring sides. The United States withdrew a contingent of troops this weekend, and called for a ceasefire. The United Nations, the G7 and the European Union (EU) are calling for a truce as well.

The ongoing civil war in the country is the second internal conflict since Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in 2011.

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