Libya militants clash after leader dies
08 November 2013, 11:43
Tripoli - Members of two Libyan militias clashed in Tripoli
on Thursday after the death of one of their leader, leaving at least 10 people
injured amid intense gunfire, witnesses and security officials said.
The clashes erupted in several parts of the city after
militia chief Nuri Friwan died from wounds he incurred at a checkpoint manned
by former rebels from Soug al-Jomaa, an eastern Tripoli district.
To avenge his death armed members of the Misrata militia
drove to the Soug al-Jomaa district in vehicles equipped with anti-aircraft
guns, blocking the main road to the area, witnesses said.
Explosions and exchanges of gunfire could be heard into
A medical source at a Tripoli hospital sai that at least 10
people, including civilians, had been injured in the exchanges, two seriously.
Some buildings near to the clashes were hit by the gunfire.
The Radisson hotel, used by diplomats and businessmen was particularly badly
hit by anti-aircraft gunfire.
"We are being terrorised. Many windows have been
shattered," one hotel guest told AFP.
One security source said a lot of the shots were fired, by
both sides, into the air as a show of force.
From 01:00 a relative calm descended punctuated by
When Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi was overthrown and killed
in October 2011, the rebels were hailed as heroes for bringing an end to more
than four decades of dictatorship.
But since then, they have formed militias with different
ideologies and motivations.
Today they stand accused of being responsible for many of
Libya's ills, notably the instability that still plagues parts of the North
Many militias have rejected the government's demands to turn
in their weapons or join the national security forces, and a patchwork of armed
groups effectively controls much of the country.