Turkey expresses concern over militia clashes in Libya

Libya-strikeTurkey on Saturday voiced concern over the violent clashes between rival militias in Libyan capital Tripoli that began earlier this week.

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: “We are concerned about the clashes that [..] caused the deaths and injuries of many civilians.”

The clashes first erupted on Monday after the Defense Ministry-affiliated Seventh Infantry Brigade accused the Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade, aligned with the Interior Ministry, of attacking its positions in southern Tripoli.

At least 38 people were killed and 90 others wounded in the sporadic clashes since then.

The ministry said all parties should avoid actions that may harm civilians and disrupt political process led by the United Nations.

“Turkey is giving full support to efforts to end clashes and restore peace and security in Tripoli,” read the statement.

Libya has been dogged by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

Since then, Libya’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power – one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli – and a host of heavily-armed militia groups.