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.

 

IS bid to seize Kobane stalls amid air strikes

Six Tunisians killed in police-gunmen standoff

Iraq MPs divide over Kurds deployment to aid Kobane

Suspicious envelopes to consulates in Istanbul prompt alert

Morocco fossils: A rare and vanishing treasure

Germany offers to help Armenia forge peace with Turkey

Libya wakes up from ‘Dubai dream’ to face Somalia-like ‘failed state’

South Yemen separatists vow to intensify secession protests

Relatives of Iraq massacre victims: Blackwater guards should be killed

Ghannouchi makes it clear to Tunisia: It’s either political Islam or Daesh!

Deadly clashes erupt after army raid in northern Lebanon

200 Iraqi Kurd fighters to travel through Turkey to Kobane

Coalition strikes in Syria eliminate more than 500 jihadists in one month

Ahead of elections, new clashes remind Tunisia of need to fight terror

Saudi Arabia jails mothers for preparing sons to wage jihad

Jury finds Blackwater guards guilty of 2007 'massacre' in Iraq

Iraq Kurds approve reinforcements for Kobane

Israel classifies car crash as ‘hit and run terror attack’

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane