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    Smoke rises during a battle between Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government and Islamic State fighters in neighborhood Number Two in Sirte, Libya August 16, 2016

    Over 32,000 People Flee Tripoli as Libya Conflict Rages - UN Refugees Agency

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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - More than 32,000 people have left Tripoli and areas surrounding the city since the recent escalation of fighting in Libya, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement.

    "UNHCR continues providing humanitarian assistance to displaced Libyan families and distributed yesterday core relief items to 135 families (800 persons) in AzZawyah, as the conflict continues raging in Tripoli forcing over 32,000 persons to flee", the UNHCR said via Twitter.

    On Sunday, up to 135 families — 800 people — received aid in the city of Az-Zawyah, located west of Tripoli.

    The same day, the World Health Organisation said that the death toll in clashes had reached 254, with 1,228 people having been wounded.

    UN Mission to Remain in Libya for Delivering Humanitarian Aid 

    UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Maria Ribeiro said during a press briefing that the United Nations will remain in Libya to provide humanitarian assistance necessary to address the needs of the people affected by the conflict in the country.

    "We have through the many partners that we have here, we will continue to remain and to attempt to do everything we can to deliver the humanitarian responses that are appropriate in these circumstances", Ribeiro said.

    She added that there has been a concern over the lack of humanitarian access into Tripoli.

    READ MORE: Is Libya a Bargaining Chip for Conflicting Italian Parties Ahead of EU Election?

    The conflict in Libya escalated after Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar ordered LNA troops to advance on Tripoli in a bid to drive out what he called were terrorist forces on 4 April. In response, armed forces loyal to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) started a military operation against the LNA.

    Since the killing of Libya's long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi by US-supported Islamists in 2011, Libya has been ruled by two competing governments — its western part governed by the UN-backed GNA and its eastern part controlled by the LNA.

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    Tags:
    refugee, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Libyan National Army (LNA), Libya
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