Libyan National Army Says Terrorists Plotting Attack on Country's 'Oil Crescent'

Tripoli's only functional airport hit by air raid as clashes rage

Tripoli's only functional airport hit by air raid as clashes rage

The pullout comes as a Libyan commander's forces advanced toward the capital of Tripoli and clashed with rival militias.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya, Maria Ribeiro, said Monday the fighting had displaced more than 2,800 people, blocked rescuers from reaching casualties and damaged electricity lines.

Haftar, a former Kadhafi military chief, has emerged as a major player, his self-styled Libyan National Army backing an administration in the country's east in opposition to the UN-backed Government of National Accord.

The LNA moved up north from on the road from former airport in the district of Khalat Furgan, coming some 11 km from the city centre, a resident said, adding he could see the troops as forces loyal to the Tripoli government withdrew.

Maj. Gen. Mohamed al-Manfour of Hifter's Libyan National Army, told the Libyan Address newspaper they bombed targets at Mitiga after receiving information that the United Nations -backed government forces were preparing to target them.

Analysts say Haftar has swelled his ranks with Salafist fighters and tribesmen as well as Chadians and Sudanese from over the southern borders, claims dismissed by the LNA.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in NY on Monday that "unfortunately" the United Nations received "no positive news" in response to its urgent appeal for a truce in Tripoli. Some 5,700 refugees and migrants are trapped in detention centers in conflict areas, United Nations agencies say.

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At least 27 people have been killed, including civilians, since Thursday, according to the health ministry of the Tripoli-based government.

It was not immediately clear when the two doctors whose deaths were reported by the World Health Organization were killed in Tripoli.

On Sunday, April 7, Russian Federation blocked proposals for the council to adopt a formal statement, instead insisting that all Libyan forces be urged to stop fighting, diplomats said.

Also Monday, U.N. envoy Ghassan Salame said he met with Fayez Sarraj, head of the government in Tripoli, to discuss how the U.N. mission "can assist at this critical and hard juncture".

But the true was not observed by evening, one United Nations official said.

"We need all the parties involved in this conflict to attend", Dujarric said. He said the attack constituted a serious violation of worldwide humanitarian law which prohibits attacks against civilian infrastructure.

Fierce clashes Sunday near Tripoli saw Haftar's fighters and other powerful western Libyan armed groups exchanging fire including air strikes. "It will protect them, their properties and freedom", he said after meeting with Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit in Cairo. Ironically, the violence over the next few days has forced the evacuate its remaining forces-there for diplomatic security and counterterrorism-from the volatile country.

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