Haftar forces violate truce following Berlin summit

This picture taken on June 29, 2019 shows smoke plumes rising in Tajoura, south of the Libyan capital Tripoli, following a reported airstrike by forces loyal to retired general Khalifa Haftar. (AFP File Photo)

Militias loyal to Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar launched a mortar attack Sunday, violating a cease-fire following a conference on Libya in Berlin.

Sounds of explosions were heard in the capital Tripoli after the Berlin summit, which was held with the aim of establishing a lasting cease-fire and initiating a political process in Libya.

Abdul-Malik Al-Madani, spokesman for the Burkan Al-Ghadab (Volcano of Rage) Operation by Libya's UN-recognized government, told Anadolu Agency that the militias violated the cease-fire by launching a random mortar attack on the Salah al-Din region south of Tripoli.

While warring parties in Libya and the international community gathered in Berlin, Haftar's forces also launched mortar attacks on Al Halatat during the day.

Periodic gunfire was heard south of the Libyan capital and black smoke could be seen rising.

Since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: warlord Khalifa Haftar's in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

Libya's internationally recognized government in the capital Tripoli has been under attack by Haftar since last April, and fighting over the last nine months has killed more than 1,000 people.

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