Trump speaks to Libya insurgent General Haftar


The Libyan civilian aviation authority has closed Tripoli's Mitiga airport after residents reported an airstrike on the city, Trend reports citing Sputnik.

Earlier Tripoli residents reported that explosions shook the capital late on Saturday following an airstrike.

Heavy fighting has erupted south of Tripoli after Libya's UN-backed government announced a counter-offensive against insurgent forces.

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Soldiers loyal to Gen Khalifa Haftar launched an attack earlier this month with the aim of taking Tripoli.

Field Marshal Haftar ordered his Libyan National Army to take Tripoli from the Government of National Accord in an offensive he said is targeting militants and terrorists.

Fighting on Tripoli's outskirts has killed at least 220 people and wounded more than 1,000 others, according to the World Health Organization, while the International Organization for Migration said more than 25,000 people have been displaced.

Haftar launched an offensive on April 4 against the UN-recognised GNA, which is based in Tripoli, resulting in repeated fierce clashes on the southern edges of the capital.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility. "I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong". Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels, the Shangrila, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury .

Both sides claimed progress in southern Tripoli yesterday, but no more details were immediately available.

In terms of worldwide backing, Haftar enjoys the support of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and - now, clearly - the United States.

The White House did not say why it delayed giving news of the phone call.

Haftar's forces are pressing a military assault on the capital Tripoli in opposition to Libya's internationally recognized government.

More than 200 people have been killed since the fighting began three weeks ago.

The UN's Libya envoy warned Thursday of "a widening conflagration" in the North African country.

In the following days, the council was unable, however, to issue a more formal statement, diplomats said, as Russian Federation objected to a reference to the LNA, while the United States said it could not agree to a text that did not mention Haftar's forces.

A UN resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the five permanent members - United States, Britain, France, Russia or China - to pass.