More coronavirus cases in Libya as fighting rages

MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) - Artillery blasts shook Libya's capital Tripoli on Sunday as fighting raged even as the nation confirmed five more cases of the coronavirus for a total of eight.

Reuters March 30, 2020 00:11:51 IST
More coronavirus cases in Libya as fighting rages

More coronavirus cases in Libya as fighting rages

MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) - Artillery blasts shook Libya's capital Tripoli on Sunday as fighting raged even as the nation confirmed five more cases of the coronavirus for a total of eight.

The National Centre for Disease Control said the new cases were in the northwestern city of Misrata, held by the Government of National Accord (GNA) which is at war with the Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar.

In chaos and without central authority since the 2011, Western-backed uprising that ousted strongman Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is poorly placed to withstand any epidemic.

The United Nations has urged warring parties to stop fighting so the overstretched health system can prepare. Cycles of conflict have destroyed much of Libya's infrastructure and a financial crisis has stopped salaries to many medics.

The current phase of warfare began last year when Haftar's LNA began an offensive to capture Tripoli, seat of the GNA which is recognised by the United Nations.

The conflict escalated last week when pro-GNA fighters mounted assaults on several fronts with clashes, bombardment and air strikes. The LNA had earlier been shelling Tripoli.

Loud blasts could be heard in central Tripoli on Sunday from fighting in the south of the city, one of the fiercest front lines, witnesses said.

(Reporting by Ayman al-Sahili in Misrata and Hani Amara in Istanbul; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.