Rome - France is partly to blame for the crisis in Libya, Italy's Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta said Monday, ruling out any Italian military intervention there.
"France, from my point of view, has a responsibility," the minister wrote on Facebook, evoking the military intervention in 2011 by France and other nations against the regime of Libya's then leader Muammar Gaddafi.
"It is clearly now undeniable that this country (Libya) finds itself in this situation because someone, in 2011, put their own interests ahead of those of the Libyan people and of Europe itself," the minister said.
"France, from this point of view, is partly to blame," Trenta added.
Tripoli has been shaken by more than a week of clashes between rival groups, in the latest episode of chaos to hit the country since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi. At least 50 people have been killed and 138 injured in the week-long fighting, the Tripoli-based Health Ministry said.
The Libyan capital has been at the centre of a battle for influence between armed groups. Libya is divided between two competing governments — one based in the capital Tripoli and the other in east Libya.
Earlier Italy's parliamentary speaker Roberto Fico called the situation in Libya "a serious problem which France has left us".
Trenta said that it was necessary to move forward "together" to secure peace in Libya.
The Italian press on Monday suggested that special Italian forces could be sent to intervene in Libya, a possibility which Trenta ruled out.
The United Nations mission to Libya (UNSMIL) has invited the "various Libyan parties" to Tuesday talks for "urgent dialogue".
The fighting in Tripoli allowed hundreds of prisoners to escape en masse from a jail in a southern suburb of the city where the battle was raging.
Police said that 400 inmates fled the prison in Ain Zara on Sunday. “The prisoners removed the doors and left after riots against the background of the nearby clashes,” the judicial police added in a statement without specifying the offences of the fugitives.
The jailbreak is thought to have been assisted by the feuding militias to create chaos in Tripoli.
Several government-run institutions were looted by “outlaws” in Tripoli due to security breakdown, the Libyan news website Al Wasat Gate reported.
Facebook blocked as fighting rages
Facebook has been blocked in the Libyan capital of Tripoli and other cities, residents said on Monday as fighting raged.
Facebook is the main platform for news in Libya with officials, armed groups effectively control posting statments on behalf of ministries in the country.
The blockade started at noon, angry users wrote on Twitter. Several Libya residents confirmed they could not access Facebook.
There was no clear response from officials over who was behind the blockage. Non-Facebook websites could be accessed, residents said.
Libyan utility LPTIC, which owns the two state telecoms firms, said in a statement that a lack of security had led to outages. Maintenance engineers were unable to reach some stations which had stopped working due to a lack of power.
It did not address the Facebook issue.
Newspapers play no role in Libya and independent national media based inside the country scarcely exist as journalists often face threats from armed groups or officials unhappy with critical coverage.
The New York Times have published a report on Tuesday about how Facebook is being used in Libya to buy arms, locate foes and kill them, for battlefield guidance using maps and coordinates to help target sites, and for the spread of fake news and hateful comments.