First Published: 2013-06-26

 

Militias turn Libya’s capital into lawless battlefield

 

Fighting erupts in Tripoli when gunmen from western city of Zintan try to free five comrades seized by former rebels.

 

Middle East Online

Is Libya’s war over?

TRIPOLI - Fighting erupted in the Libyan capital on Wednesday when gunmen from the western city of Zintan tried to free five comrades seized by former rebels, a security source said.

The clashes with small arms and heavy weapons broke out in the Abu Slim area near central Tripoli, a journalist and witnesses said.

Gunfire from heavy weapons could be heard in several areas of the centre, while plumes of smoke could be seen rising into the sky above Abu Slim, a journalist at the scene said.

"It's a war here," Meftah, a resident of the area, said.

Rebels from Zintan first entered Tripoli in August 2011, when they helped to drive forces loyal to former dictator Moamer Gathafi out of the capital.

Since then, some of these groups have stayed in the capital and have occupied former military bases and other state institutions.

On Tuesday, a group of gunmen from Zintan attacked the headquarters of the petrol installations guard, for reasons that are still unclear, before other groups of ex-rebels intervened with force to stop them.

Members of the country's highest political authority, the General National Congress, said in a statement on Wednesday that clashes the night before in the Tripoli suburb of Salaheddin had killed five people.

The authorities, who are struggling to form a professional army and police, regularly use former rebels to secure the borders or to intervene in tribal conflicts.

The government has failed to disarm and disband the former rebel groups who implement the law in parts of the country.

 

Mattis: We are not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil

Iraq forces battle their way to Mosul airport

Famine grips parts of South Sudan

Merkel Algiers trip postponed

Women named to head Saudi financial institutions

11 family members dead in Syria rebel push on Al-Bab

East Libya issues women travel ban

Syria army escalates shelling near Damascus ahead of talks

Coalition expects to remain in Iraq after Mosul operation ends

Egypt court hands out death sentences over football riot

Israelis optimistic on Trump despite mixed messages

Prime minister's convoy comes under fire in Libya

Four Russian military personnel killed in Syria

Prince of Poets returns to Al Raha Beach theatre

Debate on Muslim Brotherhood ban reflects battle lines in US

IS claims suicide attack by British bomber

Le Pen in Lebanon for first head of state meeting

Israeli PM sets off on Asia tour

HRW says IS jihadists raping, torturing Sunni Arab women too

Iran says Saudi, Israel working to damage country

Trial of 'Erdogan assassination plot' suspects opens in Turkey

Hundreds of migrants storm Morocco-Spain border

Iraq digs anti-IS trench around Ramadi

Israel's Lieberman fears Palestinians will dilute 'Jewish state'

At least 14 dead in Mogadishu car bombing

Arab leaders, Netanyahu held secret peace meeting

Obesity a major health problem in Jordan

350,000 children trapped in west Mosul

UN envoy to Syria : 'Where is the US?'

UN says aid to Sudan expected to drop

Mosul civilians divided over Iraqi army advice to 'stay home'

Iraq forces launch operation to retake west Mosul

US-led coalition praises Iraq's 'militias'

Egypt tourism shows signs of recovery

Turkey eyes strong US alliance, despite Trump splits

Former Ahmadinejad VP eyes Iran presidential bid in May

Turkey car bomb kills child, wounds 17

Russia seeks 'post-West' world order

Veteran Moroccan politician M'hamed Boucetta dies

Iran set to conduct new military drills

Viral video shows Syrian boy caught in barrel bomb attack

41 jihadists executed by rival group in Syria

Erdogan begins campaign for referendum to expand powers

Turkish shelling kills 9 in IS-held Syria town

Erdogan supporters 'increasingly demonising' 'no' voters