TRIPOLI Aug 18 Unidentified war planes flew
over the Libyan capital Tripoli early on Monday and explosions
could be heard, residents said.
A Libyan TV channel said planes targeted positions in
Tripoli where militias have been fighting for control for over
one month. None of the militias is believed to own war planes.
Government officials could not be reached for comment.
Tripoli residents said they could hear several explosions
but said the cause was unclear. The city was quiet afterwards.
Militias from the city of Misrata and fighters allied to the
western town of Zintan on Sunday again traded gunfire in parts
of Tripoli, part of growing chaos in the oil producing nation
three years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.
Three years since Gaddafi's rule ended, Libya's fragile
efforts towards democracy are close to chaos. A month of
fighting in Tripoli and Benghazi has further polarised the
political factions and their militia allies.
Libya's weak government has no functioning national army and
almost no control over Tripoli, with most officials working from
Tobruk in the far-east where the new parliament has set-up to
escape the violence.
Most of the fighting has raged over the international
airport in Tripoli, which fighters from Zintan have controlled
since sweeping into the capital during the 2011 war.
The militia battles have forced the United Nations and
Western governments to evacuate diplomats, fearing Libya is
sliding into civil war.
On Sunday, the U.N. Mission in Libya said in a statement
that it "deeply regrets that there was no response to the
repeated international appeals and its own efforts for an
The new U.N. special envoy Bernardino Leon, who is due to
start his job officially on Sept. 1, said he was aiming to end
fighting and might travel to Tripoli as early as this week.
(Reporting by Feras Bosalum, Heba al-Shibani and Ulf Laessing;
Editing by Michael Perry)