'We're frightened': Tripoli braces as fighting reaches suburbs

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Violence at edge of capital contrasts with tense calm in city centre as Libyans fear bloodbath

Residents of Tripoli have spoken of their fear and confusion as clashes between UN-backed government forces and troops loyal to the Benghazi strongman Khalifa Haftar continue in its southern suburbs.

“We are sandwiched between the forces, people are wondering what to do, we are frightened,” said one woman, who asked to remain anonymous, living with her family in the southern suburbs.

Libya is on the brink of an all-out civil war that threatens to upend years of diplomatic efforts to reconcile two rival armed political factions. An advance led by Khalifa Haftar, the warlord from the east of the country, has diplomats scrambling and the UN appealing in vain for a truce. The French government, the European power closest to Haftar, insists it had no prior warning of his assault, which is closing in on the capital, Tripoli. The outcome could shape not just the politics of Libya, but also the security of the Mediterranean, and the relevance of democracy across the Middle East and north Africa.

Related: What does the battle for Tripoli mean for Libya and the region?

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Link : ‘We’re frightened’: Tripoli braces as fighting reaches suburbs

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