Libya declares state of emergency in Tripoli

By Hamdi Yildiz

TRIPOLI (AA) – Libya's UN-backed unity government declared a state of emergency in the capital Tripoli and its outskirts over the clashes between rival militias.

The decision came after a total of 38 people were killed in the violence that broke out between militias aligned with the UN-backed unity government in southeastern Tripoli since last Sunday.

The violence erupted after the Defense Ministry-affiliated 7th Infantry Brigade accused the Tripoli Revolutionary Brigade, which is aligned with the Interior Ministry of attacking its positions in southern Tripoli.

In a statement, the government said: "A state of emergency has been declared in and around the capital city of Tripoli, taking into account the public interests and the possible dangers of the present situation."

Libya has been dogged by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

Since then, Libya’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power — one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli — and a host of heavily-armed militia groups.