Libya's defense ministry urges end to 'senseless fighting' in Tripoli and Benghazi

Following deadly attacks in Benghazi and Tripoli and increased violence, the Libyan government issued a plea Friday for an end to the "senseless fighting."
By JC Finley  |  July 25, 2014 at 4:33 PM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, July 25 (UPI) -- Libya's Ministry of Defense issued a plea Friday urging all parties in Benghazi and Tripoli to put an end to the "senseless fighting."

In its statement, the ministry directed that both cities and their airports be secured, and also instructed military members to follow the orders of their commanders and the Presidency of the General Staff as the government seeks to stabilize the embattled country.

The directive follows deadly attacks in Benghazi this week, where the House of Representatives is expected to convene August 4.

The Libya Herald reported eight killed and 19 injured from bomb and rocket attacks on Tuesday. Most of the violence has centered on Buatni, where the Saiqa Special Forces Investigations unit has been battling Ansar al-Sharia. The increase in attacks by the militants is regarded as a response to the government's decision to send military reinforcements to battle Ansar in Benghazi.

On July 14, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commented on the security situation in Libya, saying Monday he was "extremely concerned by the dramatic increase in violence in Tripoli and the toll that recent fighting is having on the civilian population," adding that "such actions undermine the sacrifices that so many Libyans made during the revolution in order to create a State based on the rule of law."

Citing concern about increasing violence, the U.N. announced earlier this month it was evacuating its staff from Libya.

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