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At Least 56 Killed, Hundreds Injured As Fighting Near Tripoli Continues

Heavy gunfire and explosions were reported near Tripoli as the forces of Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) battled with troops loyal to the government.

The troops of Libya's internationally recognized government continued to battle a militia commander's forces for control of the capital as the United Nations chief warned that the country faced a "very dangerous situation."

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) said on April 11 that at least 56 people have died and 266 others have been wounded in six days of fighting near the capital, Tripoli, with thousands of people fleeing the area.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for a halt to hostilities, saying, "It's still time to stop."

"It's still time for a cease-fire to take place, for a cessation of hostilities to take place, and to avoid the worst, which would be a dramatic, bloody battle for Tripoli," he said.

A Reuters journalist on April 11 reported the sounds of occasional heavy gunfire and explosions near the capital and a disused former international airport as the forces of Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) battled with troops loyal to the government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj's government.

The militia commander's self-styled Libyan National Army in early April launched an offensive against Tripoli, which is controlled by militias that support Libya’s UN-recognized government.

Haftar has since defied international calls to halt the advance that has killed dozens of people.

Russia has been a key supporter of the militia commander, along with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

The North African country has been torn by violence, political instability, and power struggles since longtime ruler Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown and killed in 2011.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and dpa