Prison shelled in Libyan capital despite ceasefire pleas to focus on coronavirus
TUNIS (Reuters) - A prison in the Libyan capital Tripoli was shelled on Tuesday, injuring several people, its warden said, as a bombardment intensified despite pleas for a ceasefire to tackle the coronavirus. The Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar has been trying since last year to capture Tripoli, seat of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA)
TUNIS (Reuters) - A prison in the Libyan capital Tripoli was shelled on Tuesday, injuring several people, its warden said, as a bombardment intensified despite pleas for a ceasefire to tackle the coronavirus.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar has been trying since last year to capture Tripoli, seat of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
The prison, in the Ain Zara district in southern Tripoli, is in an area held by pro-GNA forces, not far from a front line where a fighter with the GNA said intense clashes took place on Tuesday.
Heavy artillery was audible across Tripoli for much of Tuesday and into the evening, with the capital's residents under a lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, though no cases of the disease have yet been confirmed in Libya.
A military source with the LNA, which is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, said it had shot down a drone on Tuesday evening. The GNA is supported by Turkey.
The acting head of the U.N. mission in Libya, Stephanie Williams, issued a statement condemning "the repeated shelling of Ain Zara neighbourhood, including the al-Rwemi prison, reportedly by forces affiliated with the Libyan National Army".
Last week, the U.N. and numerous countries individually urged both sides in the fighting to accept a truce to allow Libya to focus on preparing for the coronavirus, a pandemic that has killed more than 17, 200 people worldwide, according to a Reuters tally.
Both the GNA and the LNA publicly welcomed the idea of a ceasefire, but fighting broke out again soon afterwards.
(Reporting By Ayman al-Warfalli in Benghazi, Hani Amara in Istanbul and Angus McDowall in Tunis; editing by Grant McCool)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
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
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.