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.

 

Egypt, France agree to step up cooperation against terrorism

Libya’s Derna emerges as new IS stronghold

Huthis humiliate Al-Ahmar clan with capture of Sanaa headquarters

UN chief calls for halt to Libya air strikes

Lebanese diva Sabah passes away

Regime indiscriminate strikes kill scores in Islamic State 'capital' in Syria

Putin meets with Syria Foreign Minister in Black Sea retreat of Sochi

Britain rushes to fight terror with controversial bill

Gunmen kill 3 Egypt policemen in fresh terrorist attack

Iran lawmakers finally approve third Rouhani science minister pick

Turkey clears only suspect in alleged poisoning of former president

Christians hold out in Syria second city despite Daesh threat

Egypt to reopen Rafah border crossing Wednesday

Egypt leader begins two-day trip to France

Tribesmen blow up Yemen’s main oil pipeline

Russia trims oil output

Syrian air strikes on Raqa kill 63 civilians

17 killed in fatal Cairo building collapse

Egypt nabs five Salafist leaders

Essebsi leads Tunisia presidential vote

Paris pushing for 'safe zones' in war-torn Syria

New air strike hits Tripoli’s sole operational airport

Pentagon chief steps down

Saudi seeks to ‘knock out’ shale oil competitors from oil market

Death toll rises from Morocco flash floods

Yemen troops free 8 hostages from Al-Qaeda

Italy hails Egypt as 'strategic partner'

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff

Egypt leader heads to Italy

Morocco arrests six over online IS allegiance pledge

Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists

Southern Morocco storms claim eight lives

Marzouki, Essebsi set for runoff in Tunisia presidential vote

Biden wraps up Turkey visit without breakthrough on Syria

Sudan launches investigation into claims of 'mass rape' in Darfur village

Assad urges ‘real pressure’ on backers of 'terror'

Israel eyes powers to revoke rights of Arab residents

Iraq death sentence to ex- PM threatens to damage ties with powerful tribe

Iran hardliners resist possible nuclear deal in rare protest

After failure of boycott, Bahrain Shiite opposition resorts to accusations

Tunisia votes for president in first free and multi-candidate election

Hope for change and stability as Tunisia prepares to elect new president

Saudi detainee sent home as US speeds up Guantanamo repatriations