A volley of rocket attacks on the Libyan capital of Tripoli caused havoc overnight with people scrambling to safety and crowds answering a call to donate blood for the wounded.
The prime minister of the internationally-recognised government in the capital called the attacks “barbaric” and the interior minister told Sky News that the assaults were akin to war acts perpetrated by Hitler.
Although it is difficult to gauge accurate numbers of wounded and dead, the hospital director said at least four people had been killed and about 20 injured.
The Tripoli-based administration is blaming the bombing on the forces ranged on the outskirts of the capital which are loyal to a commander who was once a general under the country’s former dictator, Colonel Gaddafi.
Khalifa Heftar threatened to storm the capital with his self-styled Libyan National Army when he began his assault nearly two weeks ago.
But his advance appears to have stalled.
There’s been frantic fighting on the outskirts as a range of different fighting groups inside the city have united to prevent his forces entering.
In the crowded Abu Salim municipality, there were hundreds of people on the streets as fire teams worked to put out fires and some residents hastily gathered belongings to move to safety.
One man told the Sky News team: “Where are the militia groups (as Heftar claims)? These are all civilians. You are here. Do you see any armed groups? Where are they?”
The attacks were the most intense in three nights of bombings.
They come as the United Nations is considering voting on a resolution which would call for a ceasefire on all sides.
That may not be enough for some in Tripoli who wanted a complete withdrawal of Heftar’s fighters.
But in the capital, there is intense frustration and anger over what is perceived to be the lack of direct action by the international community.
“We are disappointed with the international community,” one elderly man told us.
“We were expecting the international community and the international council to take military actions to stop these murders, and stop this evil.”
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