Explosions and gunfire over Tripoli as fighting continues in the west

Explosions and gunfire over Tripoli as fighting continues in the west
Conflict in western Libya continues as factions grapple for power.
1 min read
25 September, 2020
Lebanese soldiers man a checkpoint after being deployed near Tripoli on September [Getty]

Libya has seen a lull in conflict for the past few months, after forces allied with the UN-supported government in Tripoli pushed out east-based military commander Khalifa Haftar, ending his 14-month campaign to capture the capital.

Yet with the halt of hostilities, western Libya has returned to the all-too-familiar rhythm of battles between the dozens fractious militias around the capital.

On Friday, clashes rocked the town of Tajoura, east of Tripoli, according to residents.

Read more: What does Fayez al-Sarraj's resignation mean for Libya?

Two rival armed groups, known as the Tajoura Lions and Daman brigades, fought a sporadic but deadly gun battle that killed at least two militia leaders and one fighter, according to an officer in the Tripoli government's interior ministry.

He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorised to talk to media.

The civilian death toll remains unclear, but the sounds of tanks and heavy weapons echoed through the populated neighbourhood, home to Tripoli's main civilian airport and other government buildings.

The Tripoli-based government's Minister of Defence, Salah al-Namroush, issued a statement calling for two militias to be disbanded.

He requested that the military prosecution investigate the clashes and threatened to "use force" against the groups if they did not immediately stop shooting.

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