50+ Killed in Tripoli, Benghazi Clashes

Libya is experiencing its worst outbreak of violence since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. Fighting over the weekend in Benghazi and Tripoli resulted in more than 50 dead. Between Saturday night and Sunday morning, 36 people were killed in Benghazi in clashes between Libyan Special Forces and Islamist militants. On Saturday night, 23 were killed in Tripoli after a rocket hit a home of Egyptian workers. Medical authorities note that most of the fatalities they have tracked are of civilians “as the fighters have their own hospitals on the battlefield,” said a Benghazi medical source. The U.S., the U.N., and Turkey have removed their diplomats from the country. Western governments are hoping that when the new Libyan government holds its first parliamentary session in August, it will able to bring some peace and stability to the country, which has struggled to transition to democracy. Meanwhile, a massive fire is raging after a fuel storage tank that supplies Tripoli was hit on Sunday. The National Oil Corporation said, “It is a tank of [1.6 million gallons] of gasoline and it is close to others containing gas and diesel... The firefighters are trying to counter the fire but if they cannot, a big disaster will happen.”