By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 1 August 2014:
The Ministry of Health has reported that there have been a total of 214 deaths and . . .[restrict]981 injuries recorded at hospitals up to Wednesday 30 July as a result of the recent fighting in both the greater Tripoli and greater Benghazi areas. The figure does not include the bodies recovered yesterday in Buatni after the Ansar/Saiqa clashes.
Meanwhile, Libya Body Count, an independent NGO that has been keeping track through media and social networks of violent crime and deaths in Libya since January 2014 reports that there have been over 400 deaths in July alone. The largest number of these have been recorded in Benghazi (253) and then Tripoli (130) .
The rise in deaths and injuries has reflected the increased fighting in both Benghazi and Tripoli. The fighting in Benghazi has been ongoing since the launch of the Dignity operation against “extremists” by retired General Khalifa Hafter in May this year.
Meanwhile, fighting suddenly erupted in the last ten days of July around Tripoli International airport when Misrata-led and officially recognized Islamist militias launched an attack against Zintan-led and also officially recognized moderate/liberal militias.
The fighting soon spread to other parts of Tripoli including Gaser Ben Gashir, Airport Road all the way to the metal bridge, Siraj, Janzour, Salahadeen, and Wadi Al-Rabea. What has been worse is the indiscriminate firing or poor marksmanship of various projectiles landing in residential areas in Janzour, Ghiran, Hay Al-Andulus, Al-Hadba etc.
Numerous attempts to mediate between the two protagonist blocs led by House of Representatives members, tribal elders as well as former NTC head Mustafa Abdul Jalil seem to have failed to stem the fighting over the last 10 days.
One House of Representatives member involved in early peace talks during the fasting month of Ramadan told Libya Herald, on strict terms of anonymity, that “both sides have been equally intransigent” in ceasefire negotiations. “Both sides think they are right and both sides think that they can win”, he reported.