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

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Close to 1000 people expected to hear international evangelist Angus Buchan this weekend

The Mighty Men’s Conference is taking place in Castlegar June 28-30.

PHOTOS: Canadian National Peony Show this weekend in Castlegar

A glimpse of what is happening at the Community Complex this weekend.

Students learn about making a difference

Girl’s leadership program bears fruit at Kinnaird Elementary

Three times the love: Identical triplets return home to Nelson

Katherine van der Veen gave birth to Ainsley, Olivia and Abigail last month

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

Native of Saint-Lambert, Que., set a record for longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days

Poll: Rising gas prices force B.C. residents rethink summer road trips

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

PHOTO: Moose cow and calf relax in Williams Lake flower garden

The homeowners got a surprise when they checked their most recent surveillance footage

Two in hospital after plane crashes in Okanagan Lake

RCMP say wheels left down caused landing plane to overturn on lake

The world’s Indigenous speakers gather in B.C.’s capital to revitalize languages

Organizers estimate about 1,000 delegates from 20 countries will be at the conference

Companies need clearer rules on workplace relationships, study suggests

One-third of Canadians have been in love at work, and half say no policy on the matter exists

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Most Read