UN says 146 killed in Libya as Italy calls for cease-fire

The World Health Organization said 614 others have been wounded

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte meets the media at Chigi Palace premier office in Rome, Monday, April 15, 2019. Italy premier called for an immediate cease-fire in Libya and a withdrawal of the Libyan National Army forces, saying that a military campaign cannot bring stability to the northern African nation. Premier Giuseppe Conte spoke Monday after meeting with Qatar foreign minister in Rome. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)

At least 146 people have been killed since a Libyan military commander launched an offensive on the capital earlier this month, the U.N. said Monday, as Italy called for an immediate cease-fire and the withdrawal of his forces.

The World Health Organization said 614 others have been wounded since the Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter’s self-styled Libyan National Army launched its offensive on April 5. It did not specify whether those killed and wounded were civilians or fighters.

READ MORE: Corruption levels linked to health of democracies

The fighting pits the LNA against rival militias loosely affiliated with a weak U.N.-backed government based in the capital, Tripoli.

The U.N. says more than 13,500 people have been displaced.

The clashes threaten to ignite civil war on the scale of the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The oil-rich North African country is split between rival governments in the east and west.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called for an immediate cease-fire and the withdrawal of Hifter’s forces, saying that a military campaign would not bring stability.

He spoke Monday after meeting with Qatar’s foreign minister in Rome.

“We hope and we are working with full determination to prevent a continuation of military hostilities,” Conte said, adding that he has personally intensified diplomatic contacts to reach a political solution under U.N. auspices.

“We must prevent a humanitarian crisis that would be devastating, not only for the obvious impact on our country and the European Union,” Conte said. “It is also in the interest of the Libyan population. We must never forget that in cases of armed conflict, the civilians are the ones who bear the greatest consequences.”

Since 2011, Libya has become a major conduit for African migrants fleeing war and poverty and seeking a better life in Europe. Italy and other European countries have provided aid to Libyan authorities to try and stem the flow of migrants.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man ‘seriously’ injured in crash after driving wrong way on Highway 17: Surrey RCMP

Police say the sedan hit a transport truck, then another car

IHIT hunting in Edmonton for clues to 2017 Surrey homicide

Tanner Krupa, 19 was found dead in an alley in August 2017, in the 6900-block of 127A Street

Update: Surrey Mounties found missing man

Kuldip Sandhu, 41, had been reported missing

Surrey youth ‘REWIRE’ in play-creating project that involves a lunar eclipse and video games

‘It was such a fun process to create a play from scratch,’ says Guildford Park Secondary student

New townhouse, sunny trip for Surrey lottery winner

Surrey resident Victor Raghwan has won the Daily Grand lottery

WATCH: White Rock Elementary students host snail race

Father creates time-lapse video of race

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

B.C. RCMP arrest foreign national in connection to airport thefts

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Most Read