Airstrike by Haftar kills over 40 in southwest Libya

Tripoli: At least 41 people were killed and more than 37 others suffered injuries in an airstrike carried out by eastern Libyan forces led by commander Khalifa Haftar targeting a wedding ceremony in the country’s southwest on Sunday, according to local media.

Al-Ahrar TV channel earlier put the death toll at 20, citing local lawmaker Rahma Adem.

The lawmaker said that the attack took place in Murzuq town in southwestern Libya and all the victims were from Tebu tribe.

However, quoting Murzuq’s Municipal Councilor Mohammed Omar, Anadolu Agency reported that there was no loss of life and property in the attack targeting Tebu tribe.

No statement has been made by Haftar’s forces regarding the claim.
Since early April, forces loyal to Haftar have been launching a campaign to capture the capital, Tripoli, from forces aligned with the Government of National Accord (GNA), recognised by the United Nations.

Clashes between the two sides since then have left more than 1,000 people dead and about 5,500 wounded, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.

The oil-rich country has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, with which Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based GNA, which enjoys UN recognition.

On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron had spoken to his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi about the situation in Libya calling for a ceasefire “very soon” between the warring sides.

The two sides had discussed Libya “with the aim of backing the United Nations’ plan for a ceasefire very soon and a renewed dialogue” between Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Haftar, Macron’s office said in a statement cited by Al Jazeera.