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US, European powers call for ceasefire in Libya

The U.S., France, Germany, Italy, and the U.K. released a joint statement on Wednesday condemning ongoing fighting and violence in Libya. In the past few months, Libya has been plagued by heavy fighting between a loosely organized army and militias that have clung to their weapons since the bloody uprising that ended toppled Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011. “We are deeply concerned about attacks carried out against the civilian population and civilian targets in Tripoli and Benghazi that may amount to breaches of international humanitarian law,” the statement read. The Western powers called for an immediate ceasefire and for all parties to the conflict to begin a peaceful political dialogue. They also urged all parties to recognize the authority of the elected Libyan interim government and representatives. The five states expressed their concern about shortages in medical supplies, the displacement of thousands of families and the destruction of residences and infrastructure.

Libyan capital Tripoli has been the scene of fierce clashes between militias competing for control of several vital facilities in the city. The country's second largest city Benghazi has also turned into a battlefield between army units loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar and the Islamist Ansar Al-Sharia militia, since Haftar launched an offensive against the militia in May without authorization from the government in capital Tripoli. 

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