UN says 146 killed in Libya as Italy calls for cease-fire

The World Health Organization said 614 others have been wounded

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte meets the media at Chigi Palace premier office in Rome, Monday, April 15, 2019. Italy premier called for an immediate cease-fire in Libya and a withdrawal of the Libyan National Army forces, saying that a military campaign cannot bring stability to the northern African nation. Premier Giuseppe Conte spoke Monday after meeting with Qatar foreign minister in Rome. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)

At least 146 people have been killed since a Libyan military commander launched an offensive on the capital earlier this month, the U.N. said Monday, as Italy called for an immediate cease-fire and the withdrawal of his forces.

The World Health Organization said 614 others have been wounded since the Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter’s self-styled Libyan National Army launched its offensive on April 5. It did not specify whether those killed and wounded were civilians or fighters.

READ MORE: Corruption levels linked to health of democracies

The fighting pits the LNA against rival militias loosely affiliated with a weak U.N.-backed government based in the capital, Tripoli.

The U.N. says more than 13,500 people have been displaced.

The clashes threaten to ignite civil war on the scale of the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The oil-rich North African country is split between rival governments in the east and west.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called for an immediate cease-fire and the withdrawal of Hifter’s forces, saying that a military campaign would not bring stability.

He spoke Monday after meeting with Qatar’s foreign minister in Rome.

“We hope and we are working with full determination to prevent a continuation of military hostilities,” Conte said, adding that he has personally intensified diplomatic contacts to reach a political solution under U.N. auspices.

“We must prevent a humanitarian crisis that would be devastating, not only for the obvious impact on our country and the European Union,” Conte said. “It is also in the interest of the Libyan population. We must never forget that in cases of armed conflict, the civilians are the ones who bear the greatest consequences.”

Since 2011, Libya has become a major conduit for African migrants fleeing war and poverty and seeking a better life in Europe. Italy and other European countries have provided aid to Libyan authorities to try and stem the flow of migrants.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

One-day-a-year open house for Okanagan raptor rehab centre on May 5

The 31st annual open house for SORCO Raptor Rehab Centre is May 5

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sun makes way for rain clouds

Environment Canada is forecasting a mixed bag of conditions

Hundreds join in Easter Fun Days in Keremeos

Kids and parents enjoyed some free family fun time at Don and Anna’s in Keremeos.

Maxime Bernier, leader of People’s Party of Canada, to rally support in Kelowna

The PPC has 36,000 member and plans to run candidates in all 338 ridings

Update: RCMP confirm body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Big Sugar headlines Gonzo Okanagan tournament and festival

The second annual event will take place June 14

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Salmon Arm inventor creates rooftop sprinklers to protect from wildfires

The Water Winger can be placed at the peak of a roof without climbing a ladder

Video: South Okanagan business owner distraught over thefts

Video shows two suspects enter the Penticton store

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

Kelowna History: Street name origins

Have you ever wondered who the streets were named after?

Most Read