TRIPOLI, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Clashes in Libya's Tripoli and Benghazi between rival militias result in the death of 214 and injury of 981, a source with the health ministry told Xinhua on Friday.
Mohammed Ghiryani (C), spokesman of the Islamic militias who surrounded the Tripoli International Airport, speaks during a news conference, confirming the continuation of the military operation to control the airport and some of the surrounding camps, in Tripoli, Libya, Aug. 1, 2014. Clashes between rival militias in the Libyan capital Tripoli and the eastern city Benghazi have left at least 214 people dead and 981 others wounded since July 13. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)
"In Tripoli, 102 are killed and 452 are injured for nearly three weeks, while in Benghazi , 112 are dead and 529 are injured since last week," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, adding that the casualties did not include those who were killed and buried without forensic inspection.
Since July 13, Tripoli international airport and its surrounding areas have been witnessing violent armed clashes between Zintan militias, who controlled the air hub since the fall of Gaddafi regime in 2011, and armed Islamist groups, who attempt to take over the airport.
In eastern Benghazi, fierce fighting has been taking place between the army and Islamist militant groups, who are now in control of some of the army's camps.
Libya has witnessed a drastic escalation of violence since the 2011 unrest which toppled the country's former leader Muammar Gaddafi. The recent clashes between Islamist fighters and pro- secular forces have set several cities and towns ablaze, forcing many foreign envoys and enterprises to leave.
The United States, Germany, Canada and other countries have already shut their embassies in Tripoli, while several countries including China, Britain, Germany and Egypt have warned their nationals over the weekend to leave immediately.
Many feared the conflicts might slide into a full-fledged civil war, which could be even bloodier than the 2011 war.