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Rival armed groups clash again in Tripoli

Since the fall of Gaddafi, the country has been mired in a civil war with no short- or long-term solutions in sight
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AFP/MAHMUD TURKIA  -   Militias in Martyrs' Square in central Tripoli, Libya

Clashes between rival armed groups erupted again early this morning in the Libyan capital Tripoli, forcing the evacuation of families from residential areas. 

The forces of commander Osama al-Yuwaili, a supporter of Fathi Bashaga's parallel government, attacked a rival militia of the Government of National Unity (GNU) in Tripoli with armoured vehicles and artillery near the airport road, triggering a new day of violence. 

Tension in the capital increased with the appointment by the Tobruk-based parliament, under the tutelage of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, of Bashaga as prime minister parallel to the Tripoli-based GUN's Abdulhamid Dbeibah

Bashaga's attempts to enter Tripoli and make his control effective since May have led to sporadic clashes and military movements by pro-government groups

Bashaga announced the establishment of his executive headquarters in the city of Sirte, in the coastal centre of the country, while intermittently announcing his arrival in Tripoli, so far unsuccessful. 

On 22 July, heavy clashes between rival militias killed at least 13 people in one of the deadliest days of the current crisis. 

The UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has been promoting negotiations between rival institutions to move towards an election to end the political crisis. 

US diplomat Stephanie Williams ended her mandate as head of the mission on 31 July without a replacement having been appointed so far. 

Since the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been plunged into two civil wars and successive power struggles that have stalled the transition process, in which powers such as the United States, Russia, France, Turkey, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are intervening as allies on one side or the other.