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UN-backed government suspends participation in intra-Libyan talks

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-02-19 10:53
A smoke rises from a port of Tripoli after being attacked in Tripoli, Libya Feb 18, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

TRIPOLI - Libya's UN-backed government on Tuesday announced suspension of its participation in the Intra-Libyan Joint Military Commission talks in Geneva, following its rival east-based army's attack on a Turkish ship in a port here.

"We announced suspension of our participation in the military talks in Geneva until (international) firm stands are taken against the violations of the attackers (east-based army)," the UN-backed government said in a statement late Tuesday.

"The Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord reiterates that there will be no negotiations without lasting cease-fire, guaranteeing that the capital and other cities are not threatened, and return of the displaced people to their homes," the statement added.

"The Turkish ship that was loaded with weapons and ammunition, which arrived in Tripoli port his morning, has been destroyed," the east-based army said on Tuesday.

However, Libya's transport ministry said the attack destroyed a number of containers loaded with foodstuff, and the health ministry said three civilians were killed and five others injured.

The east-based army has been leading a military campaign since April 2019 in and around Tripoli, attempting to take over the city and topple the UN-backed government.

The fighting has killed and injured thousands of people and forced more than 150,000 civilians to flee their homes.

The rivals have agreed to cease fire on Jan 12, but both parties accused the other of breaching the truce.

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