May 4, 2019 / 7:34 PM / 6 months ago

Fighting in southern Tripoli kills 187, more than 1,000 wounded: spokesman

FILE PHOTO - A member of the Libyan internationally recognised government forces fires during a fight with Eastern forces in Ain Zara, Tripoli, Libya April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Recent fighting in southern Tripoli in Libya has killed 187 people and wounded 1,157, a spokesman for the ministry of health said on Saturday.

The government has also transferred a number of wounded to Tunisia, Turkey, Italy and Ukraine for medical treatment, said Tarek al-Hamshiri, the head of the government forces’ Field Medical Centre.

The offensive launched by eastern Libya-based military commander Khalifa Haftar to take control of Tripoli is now in its fifth week.

The U.N.-backed government of national accord (GNA) in Tripoli issued a statement earlier on Saturday recognizing 710 fighters killed in Libya’s civil war in 2014 as “martyrs”, in a move a Tripoli government source said was aimed at winning the backing of forces in nearby Zintan in the fight against Haftar.

“The GNA took this step in a bid to get support from the mountain town of Zintan to strengthen its forces in confronting the eastern forces deployed by military commander Khalifa Haftar,” the government source said.

Reporting by Ahmed Elumami; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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