The devices had gone off in the Ain Zara and Wadi Rabi districts on the southern edges of the capital, which had been controlled by militants backing warlord Khalifa Haftar until May, the health ministry said.

In this file photo, mines and IED explosives left by warlord Khalifa Haftar's militias can be seen in al Hadba region, June 03, 2020.
In this file photo, mines and IED explosives left by warlord Khalifa Haftar's militias can be seen in al Hadba region, June 03, 2020. (AA)

Landmines left by the militias of warlord Khalifa Haftar killed at least seven people and wounded 10 others on Wednesday in the south of the capital Tripoli, the Health Ministry said. 

"Seven people were killed in landmine explosions in several locations in the south of Tripoli, and 10 others were wounded," said the ministry spokesman Amin al Hashemi.

Those killed were four civilians and three mine-clearing experts.

The spokesman said the devices had gone off in the Ain Zara and Wadi Rabi districts on the southern edges of the capital, which had been controlled by militants backing warlord Khalifa Haftar until May.

The explosions came days after the Government of National Accord declared itself back in full control of the capital and its suburbs after fending off Haftar's year-long offensive to seize the capital.

Russian and Soviet-era landmines

Human Rights Watch earlier this month accused Haftar militias of laying Russian and Soviet-era landmines in Tripoli's southern districts.

They "appear to have laid mines as they withdrew from southern districts of the city" in May, the New York-based rights group said.

Days earlier, the UN's Libya mission voiced concern over reports that "residents of the Ain Zara and Salahuddin areas of Tripoli have been killed or wounded by Improvised Explosive Devices placed in/near their homes."

Haftar militias, backed by Russia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, and France have been battling since April last year to seize Tripoli from the UN-recognised GNA.

Libyan conflict

Following the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya's new government was founded in 2015 under a political deal led by the UN.

The government and the western parts of the country have been under attack by Haftar's militias since April 2019.

The Libyan army has made significant military gains against Haftar's militias in recent days, capturing all the country's western cities to the Tunisian border.

Libya's internationally recognised government has been under attack by Haftar's militants since April 2019, with more than 1,000 killed in the violence.

Turkish support

Haftar's rapid advance on Tripoli stalled to a bloody stalemate on the edges of the capital.

However, Ankara’s support for Libya's UN-backed government in Tripoli has helped shift the balance in the country, allowing the GNA forces to retake the capital's airport and gain the upper hand against Haftar.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies