Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

Libya: Freelance journalist killed amid new round of clashes

Mohamed Ben Khalifa was hit by shrapnel while accompanying a militia south of Tripoli

Mohamed Ben Khalifa, the Libyan freelance journalist killed south of Tripoli
Mohamed Ben Khalifa, the Libyan freelance journalist killed south of Tripoli

A freelance journalist who contributed to The Associated Press and other news organisations was killed Saturday in the Libyan capital, a colleague said.

Mohamed Ben Khalifa, who was in his 30s, was hit by shrapnel while accompanying a militia patrolling the Qaser Bin Ghashir area south of Tripoli, said Hamza Turkia, also a freelance journalist.

The militia came under attack by another armed group, said Mr Turkia. He said there was gunfire, and that a missile was also fired.

Ben Khalifa, a photographer and video journalist, is survived by his wife and a seven-month-old daughter, another colleague said.

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A new round of fighting between rival militias erupted earlier this week, killing 13 people and wounding more than 50, according to the Libyan Health Ministry.

The clashes shattered a UN-brokered cease-fire reached in September. A bout of violence last year killed nearly 100 people.

The fighting between militias allied with Libya's UN-backed government in Tripoli and an armed group from a nearby town underscores Libya's lingering lawlessness since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammer Qaddafi.

The energy-rich North African nation is governed by rival authorities in Tripoli and the country's east, each of which is backed by an array of militias.

Updated: January 20, 2019 09:35 AM

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