Libya: Rival militia clash, terrorize Tripoli

8th Nov 2013

Members of two rival Libyan militia groups have clashed in the capital Tripoli following the reported death of one of their leaders. The fighting left at least 10 people injured.

Clashes between the two rival factions began in several areas of the capital Tripoli after militia leader Nuri Friwan died from wounds he sustained at a checkpoint operated by former rebels from Soug al-Jomaa in eastern Tripoli district, the AFP news agency reported Friday.

Members of the Mistrata militia travelled to Soug al-Jomaa where they battled the rebel group for hours with anti-aircraft guns and grenades.

Trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns arrived in several parts of Tripoli where they also opened fire, witnesses said.

The fighting killed at least one person and left 10 wounded, a medical source at a Tripoli hospital was reported as saying.

Buildings near to the fighting were hit by gunfire. A hotel, used by diplomats and business people was struck quite badly.

“We are being terrorized. Many windows have been shattered,” a hotel guest told AFP.

Following the overthrow and subsequent death of Moammar Gadhafi in October 2011, the rebels were touted as heroes for helping end his forty year rule. However, they have since established militias with varying ideologies and motives.

The incidents of violence underscore the new government’s inability to assert control over armed militia groups and, thus, curb the persistent unrest in the North African country two years after Gadhafi’s fall from power.

jlw/jm (Reuters, AP)

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