At least two people were killed and several others wounded Sunday in airstrikes carried out around Zawiya (west) by the Libyan government as part of an operation launched, officially, against positions of traffickers, according to local media and an elected official of the city.
Drone airstrikes targeted sites in the port of al-Maya near Zawiya for the second day in a row," Libya al-Ahrar TV said Sunday night, which posted a video of a boat being set on fire in the port surrounded by a thick column of black smoke.
My nephew Mohamad Bouzrebah was hit in the raid on al-Maya," MP Ali Bouzrebah, an elected official from the town of Zawiya, 45 km west of Tripoli, said on his Facebook account, reporting the death of two other men. The port of al-Maya is about ten kilometers from Zawiya, a city that is home to a major oil refinery.
Videos of the strike, the second in two days, circulated on social media Sunday night, as well as photos of those killed, and the MP's nephew, wounded, on his hospital bed. On Friday, the MP had indicated that a drone had fallen on his home, without causing casualties.
On Thursday, the defense ministry of the UN-recognized, Tripoli-based Government of National Accord announced that it had launched "precise and targeted airstrikes against the caches of gangs of fuel, narcotics and human traffickers in the Western Littoral region."
After the announcement of the start of this operation, which has continued without interruption since, the Tripoli government has no longer communicated on the progress of the strikes, their targets or the balance sheets.
Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, oil-rich Libya has been plunged into chaos and undermined by divisions fuelled by the proliferation of armed groups with shifting allegiances.
Two governments have been vying for power for a year: one installed in Tripoli (west), led by Abdelhamid Dbeibah and recognized by the UN, the other in the east, supported by the powerful Marshal Khalifa Haftar and the Parliament based in Tobruk.