- Title: Black smoke billows as rival factions battle in Libya
- Date: 26th May 2017
- Summary: TRIPOLI, LIBYA (MAY 26, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS VIEWS OF BUILDINGS ON TRIPOLI SKYLINE LIBYAN FLAGS VARIOUS OF BLACK SMOKE SEEN IN DISTANCE VARIOUS OF TRIPOLI BUILDINGS AS SEEN FROM COAST
- Embargoed: 9th June 2017 22:15
- Keywords: Misrata Tripoli Fighting Libya
- Location: TRIPOLI, LIBYA
- City: TRIPOLI, LIBYA
- Country: Libya
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Insurgencies
- Reuters ID: LVA0016IH8R47
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Heavy clashes erupted in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Friday (May 26), as armed groups aligned with the U.N.-backed government fought to fend off a major offensive by rival Islamist-leaning forces and militia fighters.
Large plumes of black smoke could be seen billowing above the city's skyline and loud explosions and heavy artillery fire could be heard across Tripoli from early morning.
One commander reported that at least 22 men from groups aligned with the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) had been killed and 29 wounded.
The GNA issued a statement blaming the attack on Khalifa Ghwell, the head of a self-declared, Islamist-leaning "national salvation government" that was set up in 2014, and Salah Badi, an allied armed group leader. Ghwell's government has been largely displaced by the GNA, which arrived in Tripoli last year, but it continues draw on armed support, especially from the western city of Misrata.
U.N. Libya envoy Martin Kobler condemned the violence in a statement and called for an immediate restoration of calm.
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