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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay SPCA hopes you’ll have a heart for Cupid

Cat who tangled with a bobcat seeking a permanent home

New ‘hub’ model takes regional approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay

Kootenay-Boundary a provincial leader in effectively attracting doctors to work here

Painting Ourselves Visible group to create mural

A new partnership between Kootenay Gallery of Art and Castlegar Pride

Castlegar Skating Club prepares for regional championships

Watch local skaters on March 11 at 4:30 p.m.

Castlegar council develops policy for question period

Questions must pertain to current agenda items and issues or items of interest to the general public

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

Most Read