Air strike halts Tripoli flights as thousands flee Libya clashes

Forces loyal to Libya's UN-backed unity government guard Tajura a coastal suburb of the Libyan capital Tripoli

A warplane attacked Tripoli's only functioning airport on Monday as eastern forces advancing on the Libyan capital disregarded worldwide appeals for a truce in the latest of a cycle of warfare since Muammar Gaddafi's fall in 2011.

The United Nations said 2,800 people had been displaced by clashes and many more could flee, though some were trapped.

The eastern Libyan National Army (LNA) forces of Khalifa Haftar, a former officer in Moamar Gaddafi's army, earlier said 19 of their soldiers had died in recent days as they closed in on the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.

The Libyan National Army forces, led by Haftar, have been seeking to reach the centre of the capital Tripoli after they have easily advanced through the desert and reached urban areas that form a more hard stage for them, amid increasing numbers of deaths and displacement and the West's fears that this will threaten its peace plan.

The official Facebook page of Mitiga, run by the United Nations -backed government, said a fighter jet attacked the facility but gave no other details.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in NY on Monday that "unfortunately" the United Nations received "no positive news" in response to its urgent appeal for a truce in Tripoli.

After a pause overnight, fighting resumed Monday morning around the capital's destroyed main airport, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of Tripoli, and the rural area of Wadi Rabi further east.

At least 35 people have been killed since 4 April, the date of the start of Haftar forces' attack on the Libyan capital, according to new data issued by the Government of National Accord, amid increasing worldwide calls to stop the attack. The media office of Hifter's army said 22 of their troops had been killed since Thursday. At least two doctors are among the dead, while more than 180 others have been injured.

Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO's director for the eastern Mediterranean, said that targeting of medical staff was "unacceptable" and "worsens the situation for civilians caught up in conflict".

United Nations envoy Ghassan Salame met the Prime Minister in his Tripoli office to discuss "this critical and hard juncture", the UN's Libya mission said. Targeted attacks on health services were a violation of worldwide law, the organisation said.

Salame has said he is still planning for the April 14-16 National Conference aimed at bringing all Libyan factions together to chart a course to elections.

Since Gahdafi's ouster, Libya has been governed by rival authorities in the east and in Tripoli, in the west, each backed by various militias and armed groups fighting over resources and territory.

The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said that it had relocated more than 150 refugees from the Ain Zara detention center in south Tripoli on Tuesday to a UNHCR facility in a safe zone.

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