East-based Libyan army denies launching deadly airstrike in S. Tripoli

Libya’s east-based army on Saturday denied responsibility for an airstrike in southern part of the capital Tripoli that killed three civilians.

“Our armed air force denies targeting any civilian car in Sawani area of southern Tripoli that killed a number of civilians,” Ahmad al-Mismari, the army’s spokesman, said in a statement.

He said footage of the site showed that the car was hit from “the left rear side,” and it “could not be caused by an airstrike.”

A military source said three people were killed earlier Saturday in an airstrike in southern Tripoli, and the United Nations (UN)-backed government’s forces accused the rival east-based army of the airstrike.

The UN-backed government has been engaged in fierce fighting with the east-based army since early April in and around the capital Tripoli.

The east-based army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, is allied with the east-based government, as the north African nation is politically divided.

Libya has been struggling to make a democratic transition amid insecurity and chaos ever since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.