European Union `deeply concerned` at Libya violence

The European Union said Monday it is "deeply concerned" by developments in Libya after armed groups attacked parliament in Tripoli and an air base in the east.

AFP| Last Updated: May 19, 2014, 18:51 PM IST

The European Union said Monday it is "deeply concerned" by developments in Libya after armed groups attacked parliament in Tripoli and an air base in the east.

The attacks left nearly 80 people dead and more than 140 injured. Witnesses said the attackers in Tripoli belonged to the Zintan brigades, who are known for their opposition to Islamists groups and have attacked parliament before.

A spokesman for foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said the EU was concerned about the "continuing deterioration".
"The EU renews its commitment to support the Libyan people ... and calls on all parties to build consensus so as to ensure a transition to a stable democracy," spokesman Michael Mann said.

Since the toppling of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, successive Libyan governments have struggled to impose order as heavily armed former rebels have carved out their own fiefdoms.
EU member states, especially former colonial power Italy and its southern neighbours, are also worried by a sharp increase in the influx of refugees from Libya this year, in part due to the deteriorating security situation in the country.