Libya Death Toll Climbs to 227 as Trump Backs Renegade General

HeadlineApr 22, 2019

In Libya, the death toll from fighting around Tripoli has risen to at least 227, with more than 1,100 injured, since a Libyan warlord launched an assault on the capital city on April 5. The World Health Organization said Sunday the fighting has displaced more than 30,000 people. The fighting pits the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord against a militia led by former Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, who already controls much of eastern Libya. Haftar has dual U.S.-Libyan citizenship and is a former CIA asset. On Friday, the White House revealed that President Trump spoke by phone with Haftar on April 15. According to a statement, Trump “recognized Field Marshal Haftar’s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system.” News of Trump’s support for Haftar drew thousands of protesters into Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square on Friday.

Nour Mohamed: “We, the Libyan people, are against Trump and against Haftar. We want civilian rule, freedom, science and culture. We just want to live as other people do.”

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