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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - TRIPOLI - Both sides in Libya's conflict agreed to a ceasefire that started early Sunday following weeks of international diplomacy and calls for a truce by power-brokers Russia and Turkey.
The oil-rich North African country has been wracked by bloody turmoil since a NATO-backed uprising killed long-time dictator Muamar Gaddafi in 2011.
Since April last year, the Tripoli-based, UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has been under attack from forces loyal to eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar, which days ago advanced to take the strategic coastal city of Sirte.
Late Saturday Haftar forces announced a ceasefire starting at the stroke of midnight (Sunday 00:00 local time, Saturday 2200 GMT).
Early Sunday the head of the GNA, Fayez Al-Sarraj, also announced an agreement to the ceasefire, saying it had taken effect at the start of Sunday.
Sarraj stressed the GNA's "legitimate right ... to respond to any attack or aggression" that may come from the other side -- just as Haftar forces had warned of a "severe" response to any violation by the "opposing camp".
Artillery fire could be heard shortly after midnight from the center of the capital, before quiet settled over the southern Tripoli suburb where pro-GNA forces have been resisting Haftar's offensive launched April 4, 2019. -AFP
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