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New Libyan parliament meets as fighting causes further chaos

New Libyan parliament meets as fighting causes further chaos
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A large plume of black smoke bellowed out over the Libyan capital Tripoli on Saturday as fighting rages on.

One of the city’s main fuel depots near the international airport was hit for the second time in a week as rival militias battle for control of the main gateway into and out of the country.

The majority of foreign diplomats and workers have already been evacuated from Libya.

Some of those who have fled arrived in Athens on Saturday.

“Before we left it was very dangerous. We heard explosions and even when boarding the ship we heard gunshots and explosions. The conflict has been escalating so if we hadn’t left I don’t know what could have happened,” said Chen Zhong Hao, a Chinese evacuee.

Libya’s newly-elected parliament held its first session on Saturday, but the violence forced it to take place in a heavily-guarded provincial hotel.

Neighbour Tunisia temporarily closed its borders this week, which sparked clashes between guards and a group who tried to force their way out of Libya.

Around 200 people have been killed in the current fighting, the worst seen in the country since the 2011 war that ousted former leader Muammar Gaddafi.