First Published: 2011-10-15

 

Gathafi loyalists bring back fighting to Tripoli

 

Gun battle erupts in Tripoli between armed supporters of ousted Libyan leader Gathafi, interim government forces.

 

Middle East Online

Back to square one

TRIPOLI - A gun battle erupted in Tripoli on Friday between armed supporters of ousted Libyan leader Moamer Gathafi and interim government forces, leaving three dead and 30 wounded, the new regime said.

Pro-Gathafi gunmen clashed with fighters loyal to the National Transitional Council in Abu Salim, a district around 10 kilometres (six miles) south of the city centre known to harbour supporters of the former Libyan leader.

Tripoli security official Abdelrazaq al-Aradi said that two Gathafi loyalists and one NTC fighter were killed in the clashed while another 30 people were wounded.

Aradi, vice president of the security committee in the Libyan capital, told a news conference that around 50 armed Gathafi supporters were behind the violence, 27 of whom, including four "African mercenaries," were subsequently arrested.

It was the first fighting in the Libyan capital since it fell to anti-Gathafi forces in August, and comes at a key moment in the eight-month conflict.

The new regime is hoping to proclaim the country's liberation in the coming days, and prepare for the transition to an elected government, when NTC forces capture Gathafi's hometown of Sirte where diehard loyalists are making a determined last stand.

Forces from Libya's new regime launched a fierce assault on two areas of Gathafi's hometown on Friday.

0 The latest offensive in Sirte, aimed at mopping up remaining pockets of stiff resistance, came a day after NTC combatants were forced to withdraw under a hail of withering sniper fire.

At least four people were killed and 46 wounded in Friday's fighting in Sirte, said Abdulsalam Abdelkani, a medic at a field hospital in the east of the city.

The head of Tripoli's supreme military council, Abdelhakim Belhaj, pledged tough action against the pro-Gathafi fighters and "dormant cells" of the former regime, which he said would be targeted in the clean-up operation launched on Friday.

In Tripol Abdel Rahman Bussin, the military spokesman for the new regime, said that Friday's fighting broke out in the Abu Salim district after pro-Gathafi demonstrations.

He said Gathafi supporters had also clashed with NTC fighters in other parts of the capital, without giving details. Residents in Abu Salim reported violence in Al-Hai al-Islami, west of the city centre.

A senior official in the military council said earlier that the fighting was "very limited" in scope and that the military had been brought under control by late afternoon.

Many roads in the capital were closed following the violence.

Residents said the Abu Salim protest began in the early afternoon, after Friday prayers, and was prompted by a call to rise from a pro-Gathafi Libyan television presenter earlier in the week, in a message broadcast on Iraqi TV channel Al-Rai.

"We knew that pro-Gathafi forces were going to come out today. We were prepared," said Meftah, a young NTC fighter in Abu Salim.

The district, renowned for its prison, was the last area of the capital to witness resistance after NTC forces stormed the former leader's sprawling and fortified Bab al-Aziziya headquarters on August 23.

 

Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention!

Qaeda inflicts heavy losses on Huthi rebels in central Yemen

Kerry seeks help of Southeast Asia in anti-Islamic State push

Turkey gives Iraq Peshmerga forces passage to Kobane

Cultural heartland of Al Ain hosts night of Emirati musical heritage

South Sudan rivals meet in new bid to end civil war

From Morocco into Spain: Crowd of African migrants charges to border fence

Deadly suicide attack targets Shiite mosque in central Baghdad

Israel to supply Egypt with natural gas despite sabotage

US carries out first weapon airdrops to Kurd fighters near Kobane

Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days

Morocco accuses Algeria of firing on civilians across border

Australia finalises deal for deployment of Special Forces to Iraq

Tunisia calls on Libya authorities to locate missing journalists

Turkey rejects calls to arm ‘terrorist’ Kurdish party in Syria

Western powers threaten sanctions against hostile actors in Libya

New deadly terrorist attack targets Egypt army in Sinai

‘Islamic State’ suffers heavy losses in Syria battleground of Kobane

After full formation of Iraq government, time comes to visit Iran

UN appeals for four-day truce in Western Libya

Gaza tunnel collapses before demolition: At least 3 Egypt soldiers dead

Erdogan begins one-day visit to Afghanistan

After weeks of delay, Iraq gets new security ministers

Diplomats scold Turkey over ambiguous relation with Islamic State

Lebanon pleads for Iran military aid to fight Islamic State

Kurds repulse new jihadist attempt to cut off Syria town

Huthi rebels meet fierce resistance in Yemen Sunni areas

Former Iraqi pilots train IS to fly Syria fighter jets

Two Millstones Drowning America into Premature Oblivion

Iraqi forces launch anti-IS operation north of Tikrit

Ben Ali cohorts planning comeback in Tunisia polls

Battle for Libya's Benghazi heats up

Kurdish fighters still holding out in Syria's Kobane

Russia denies agreed with US on IS intelligence-sharing

Saudi’s National Commercial Bank to offer $3.6 billion IPO

Qaeda counters advancing rebels with Yemen town seizure

Iran warns Saudi cleric death sentence could escalate tensions

No breakthrough in US-Iran intense nuclear talks

Kuwait ends decades of diesel, kerosene subsidies

US airstrikes ‘push back’ IS in Kobane

New desperate attempt to reach Europe: Hundreds storm Morocco-Spain border

Turkey Kurdish party plans talks with armed PKK rebels in Iraq

Iraq beats back ‘Islamic State’ assault on Ramadi

Saudi court sentences Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr to death

Iran nuclear talks: Search for elusive breakthrough begins