Clashes break out as rival governments jostle for power in Libya’s capital

Clashes erupted in Libya’s capital Tripoli on Tuesday between armed groups loyal to Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and rival leader Fathi Bashagha, who was recently appointed as premier by the Tobruk-based parliament.

Bashagha reached the capital overnight to take control of the government from Dbeibeh, who has refused to hand over power.

However, a security source told Anadolu Agency that Bashagha was forced to leave the capital after fierce clashes were reported between the two sides.

Fighting has been reported in the al-Mansoura and Souq al-Thulatha areas in central Tripoli.

Khaled al-Mishri, the head of Libya’s High Council of State, condemned the violence and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

For more than two months, there have been two governments in Libya: the national unity government led by Dbeibeh and the one granted confidence in early March by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives.

Dbeibeh has previously said he would only cede authority to a government that comes through an “elected parliament,” raising fears that the oil-rich country could slip back into a civil war.

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