The battle for Tripoli escalated on Sunday as a military assault on the city by the eastern Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar led to 21 deaths and nearly 90 injuries, and international calls for calm were ignored.
As the fighting neared the capital, the UN issued a plea for a temporary ceasefire to allow the wounded to be evacuated. Hours earlier, the US announced it was withdrawing some of its troops from the country, citing deteriorating “security conditions on the ground”. India also withdrew a group of its peacekeepers, saying the situation in Libya had suddenly worsened.
The international airport 15 miles south of central Tripoli was a scene of fierce battles after Haftar claimed to have seized control of the area from the UN-backed government of national accord.