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 forces launch ‘final battle for Sirte’

Dozens killed as Turkey ramps up unprecedented offensive in Syria

Yemen government cautiously welcomes US peace plan

Iraq officially asks Saudi Arabia to change ambassador

In Saudi city of Najran, Huthis commit war crimes with indiscriminate rockets

Iran arrests 'nuclear spy'

Egypt frees renowned rights lawyer, Malek Adly

Yemen shelling kills three-year-old boy in Saudi border region

Turkey sends more tanks into Syria to bolster military offensive

Turkey arrests former top diplomats over failed coup

Tunisia swears in new premier after approval from parliament

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian in occupied West Bank

11 Turkish police officers killed in Cizre bomb attack claimed by PKK

French court suspends burkini ban

Tears as evacuation starts in Syria's Daraya

Turkey PM denies Syria operation singling out Kurds

Kerry, Lavrov meet for talks on Syria

Tunisia parliament to vote on cabinet proposal

Kuwait arrests govt employee promoting IS online

Turkey shells Kurdish fighters in Syria after warning

Oil prices fall on Saudi doubt on output cut

Jeddah meeting bears no fruit on Yemen conflict

Kerry in Saudi for talks on regional conflicts

UN Syria envoy expects 'impact' from Kerry-Lavrov meeting

Iraq parliament votes to impeach defense minister

Russia says will cooperate in Syria chemical attacks probe

Iraq forces take key town south of Mosul

Hamas to leave name off ballot in Palestinian elections

Iranian navy in 'unsafe' intercept of US destroyer

Three wounded in PKK attack on Turkey opposition chief's convoy

Erdogan to inaugurate Istanbul's third Bosphorus bridge

China to train Syrian troops

Turkey reinforces ground forces across border into Syria

Turkey says 'every right' to intervene if Kurds fail to withdraw

UN rights chief urges international probe of Yemen violations

Tunisia unity government to remain unchanged

Raped teen who took own life finally gets justice in Morocco

Syria rebels backed by Turkey tanks 'seize' Jarabulus

Libya's presidential council to present new cabinet

Syria regime, Kurds blast Turkish incursion

Biden: Washington told Kurds not to cross Euphrates

Israeli court shuns plea to unchain Palestinian hunger striker

Saudi police foil mosque suicide bombing

Kerry to meet Russia's Lavrov in Geneva on Friday

Kurdish forces in Syria prime target for Turkey