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More than 30 people were killed as militias fight each other in Libya’s capital : NPR | #socialmedia | #hacking | #aihp


A man surveys the damage from clashes in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Sunday.

Yousef Murad/AP

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Yousef Murad/AP

A man surveys the damage from clashes in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Sunday.

Yousef Murad/AP

CAIRO — Militias patrolled nearly deserted streets in Libya’s capital Sunday, a day after clashes killed over 30 people and ended Tripoli’s monthslong stretch of relative calm.

The fighting broke out early Saturday and pitted militias loyal to the Tripoli-based government against other armed groups allied with a rival administration that has for months sought to be seated in the capital.

Residents fear the fighting that capped a monthslong political deadlock could explode into a wider war and a return to the peaks of Libya’s long-running conflict.

Libya has plunged into chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. The oil-rich county has for years been split between rival administrations, each backed by rogue militias and foreign governments.

The current stalemate grew out of the failure to hold elections in December and Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah’s refusal to step down. In response, the country’s east-based parliament appointed a rival prime minister, Fathy Bashagha, who has for months sought to install his government in Tripoli.

Saturday’s fighting centered in the densely populated city center and involved heavy artillery. Hundreds were trapped and hospitals, government and residential buildings were damaged.

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