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Nations call for immediate ceasefire in Libya

Demonstrators in Tripoli call for the removal of the new Libyan parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk. Credit: Ismail Zitouny/Reuters

A call for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Libya has been made for the country that has been torn apart by rival factions jockeying for power.

A group of 13 countries, the European Union and the United Nations issued the communique on the sidelines of this week's annual gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York.

The signatories included Algeria, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

"We call on all parties to accept an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire and engage constructively in a peaceful political dialogue to resolve the ongoing crisis, abstaining from confrontational acts that risk undermining it," the communique stated, adding: "we reject any outside interference in Libya".

Boat carrying 250 migrants sinks off Libyan coast

A boat packed with up to 250 African migrants trying to reach European shores sank off the Libyan coast and many passengers died, a spokesman for the Libyan navy said.

Only 26 people have been rescued, navy spokesman Ayub Qassem told Reuters, adding that the boat had sunk near Tajoura, east of the capital Tripoli.

"There are so many dead bodies floating in the sea," he said.



110 Britons arrive in Malta after Libya evacuation

More than 100 Britons have arrived in Malta after being evacuated from Libya, where fighting between rival armed factions has spread in the capital.

The British survey ship HMS Enterprise evacuated 110 Britons. The British ambassador to Libya, Michael Aron, said the group included 30 children, 12 infants, four pregnant women and one elderly and sick person.

Damaged helicopter at Tripoli airport in July. Credit: Hazem Turkia / AA / TT

Britain was one of the last Western countries with an embassy open in Tripoli after the weeks of street fighting forced the United States, the United Nations and European diplomatic staff to leave.

Also on board the Enterprise was a small number of Irish and German people.

Royal Navy ship evacuates Britons from Libya

Around 100 Britons have been evacuated from Libya on a Royal Navy ship, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

A fighter from Libya's Zintan brigade watches as smoke rises after rockets fired by militia ignites a fuel tank. Credit: Reuters

Among them were staff from the UK embassy that was forced to shut down against a backdrop of deadly fighting between rival militias in the north African state.

An FCO spokesman said: "We have carried out an assisted departure and the vessel is leaving Libya with those on board. The majority of them are British."

The ship which departed from Libya's captial Tripoli, is heading for Malta.

Assisted departure of Brits from Libya 'under way'

The Foreign Office has confirmed the assisted departure of British nationals from Libya "is under way".

A fighter from Zintan brigade watches as smoke rises after rockets fired by militia ignites a fuel tank. Credit: REUTERS/Hani Amara

Earlier today 22 people were killed in the Libyan capital of Tripoli as heavily-armed groups fight for control of the international airport.

Report: Royal Navy to 'help evacuate Britons from Libya'

The Royal Navy is reported to be preparing to evacuate Britons from Libya amid escalating violence in the north African state.

The Royal Navy is reported to be preparing to evacuate Britons from Libya. Credit: Dave Husbands/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Sky News reported that the survey ship HMS Enterprise is heading for the port of Tripoli and is expected to moor offshore on Sunday.

The Ministry of Defence declined to comment on the reports. An MoD spokesman said: "As the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) has made clear, the UK Government will provide assisted departure for a number of UK nationals before suspending consular operations on Monday."

"For operational reasons we will not discuss further details including whether, and in what ways, the MoD could support these efforts."

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