Libyan clashes spread to downtown Tripol

Deadly clashes in Libyan capital Tripoli have gradually spread to the city centre from its international airport.

Intense fighting between rival militias has been raging Thursday in Gergarish Road, one of the crucial highways linking the city centre, Xinhua reported citing a witness as saying.

Heavy shelling and gunfire has also been heard in Souq al-Jum’aa district in the eastern part of Tripoli, another witness said.

The recent surge in fighting between Islamist fighters and pro-secular militia around Tripoli International Airport has left at least 97 people dead and 404 wounded.

On Wednesday, a Philippine nurse was abducted near her home and gang-raped by six Libyan youth.

A day earlier, former Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagor was kidnapped by unknown gunmen for hours in Tripoli.

China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain and the United States have already urged their citizens to leave Libya.