March 21, 2020 / 5:02 PM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-Libya's LNA follows Tripoli in backing call for pandemic truce

(Adds context)

BENGHAZI, Libya, March 21 (Reuters) - Libya’s eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) on Saturday followed the Tripoli-based government in welcoming a call for a pause in fighting to allow the country to focus on the danger from the coronavirus.

“The General Command is committed to stopping fighting so long as the other parties abide by it,” it said in a statement.

The LNA has been trying since last year to capture the capital Tripoli, seat of the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), which had already endorsed a ceasefire.

LNA shelling of the area around Tripoli had continued this week, including an attack that killed four girls and young women on Thursday.

The United Nations and some individual countries had urged warring parties to stop fighting to make it easier to deal with the virus, although no cases have yet been confirmed in Libya.

The LNA said its backing for a halt in fighting was “despite repeated violations and non-commitment to it” by the GNA forces. (Reporting By Ayman al-Warfalli in Benghazi, writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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