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Residents trapped in Libya Tripoli amid militia fighting

February 24, 2017 01:00 AM

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Heavy fighting erupted in the Libyan capital among militias allied to the UN-backed government and rivals. The violence came amid accusations of abductions.

Militias backing the UN-backed government named the Central Reinforcement said on its official Facebook page the fighting broke out late Thursday after other rival militias kidnapped four of its forces.

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Residents posted pictures showing black smoke rising in the sky as tanks and men with rifles appeared in the streets.

The Red Crescent in Tripoli is trying to evacuate residents and provide safe corridors.

"Until now the evacuation team in Tripoli hasn't managed to evacuate those trapped because clashes haven't stopped," the agency said in a statement.

Libya sank in lawlessness years after the downfall of Moammar Gadhafi, with rival governments depend on militias for control.

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(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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