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Clashes in Tripoli ICRC and UN aid groups leave Libya

Smoke rises as rival militias battle for the control of the international airport of Tripoli

(Keystone)

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has withdrawn its last international delegates from Libya as fighting between rival militias around the airport of the capital, Tripoli, continues.

A spokesman for the Swiss-led ICRC said the evacuation of about 10 members was necessary because of the deteriorating security situation and the closure of the country’s main airport.

However, about 130 local ICRC workers will stay in Libya and the organisation is co-ordinating its aid efforts from neighbouring Tunisia.

In June the ICRC temporarily suspended its activities in Libya following the killing of a senior Swiss aid official in the northern town of Sirte.

The Libyan government on Tuesday called for international help to impose law and order in the country. Tripoli airport was closed a few days ago following clashes between rival Islamic militias in the area.

The United Nations on Monday also began reducing the number of personnel to about 20 from 150 deployed normally, according to a report by the Geneva-based Le Temps newspaper.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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