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.

 

Libya rivals meet for unity deal talks in Morocco

IS 'bulldozed' Iraq’s historic Nimrud

Assad likens himself to Superman

Several Qaeda leaders killed in Syria regime attack

Dubai launches first 3D pavement art festival

FBI calls for 'vigilance' against IS recruitment online

Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia reach basis of Nile water deal

Jewish tradition could help struggling Gaza farmers

Egypt Interior Minister replaced in cabinet reshuffle

Saudi Arabia urges coalition to fight jihadists 'on ground'

Algeria criminalises violence against women

Sisi replaces interior minister in cabinet reshuffle

Executions set 'unprecedented' pace in Saudi Arabia

Libya declares more than 10 oil fields ‘non-operational’ after IS attacks

Syria exiled opposition chief seeks to unite dissidents

US warns against sectarianism in Tikrit offensive

Thousands of Filipinos remain in Libya despite perilous situation

South Sudan peace talks hit deadlock ahead of deadline

Kerry seeks to allay Gulf states’ fears on Iran

Turkey will not take part in Iraq offensive to retake Mosul

Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen freed

Libya urges UN to lift arms embargo

Mali rebel groups urged to sign peace deal

At least 34 dead in Syria rebel attack on intel HQ

Libya declares force majeure at 11 oil fields

Iran’s regional influence ‘not negiotiable’

Women protest for peace ahead of Israel election

Concerns rise over civilians’ safety in Iraq military operation

UN invites Libya leaders for crisis talks in Algeria

Israel to double water quota to Gaza ‘within days’

Abbas: Palestinians ready to talk with "whoever" wins Israel election

Fire at Cairo convention centre injures 19 people

US, Iran wrap up three days of intense nuclear negotiations

EU reviews policy in response to Ukraine, Arab Spring

IAEA delegation to hold talks in Tehran on March 9

Tunisia rescues 86 African migrants at sea

Saudi executing at 'unprecedented' pace

Turkish Airlines plane skids off Nepal runway

British former marine 'killed' in Syria

Iran slams boring Netanyahu's continuous lie-spreading in US speech

'Saudi prince' New York apartment on sale for $48.5m

Libyan militants take control of two oil fields

Washington lauds Iran's role in Iraq

Netanyahu warns Congress: Nuclear deal will free Iran to develop weapons

Bottle of juice vs. outspoken critic of Israel domestic policies