Two women, two girls killed in fighting on Tripoli beach

Two women, two girls killed in fighting on Tripoli beach
The UN-backed government regularly fights with organised crime gangs in Tripoli, as it does not currently control security in the city.
2 min read
05 July, 2017
Libyan forces reclaimed the city's southern airport in June [AFP]

A stray rocket killed at least five people, including two young girls, on a public beach in east Tripoli on Tuesday evening.

"Outlaw" gunmen from the Souq Al-Joumaa district fired a shell at government troops, injuring a further 25 people, the health ministry reported.

"The casualties are the result of clashes on Tuesday between a security force and outlaws who fired a shell that fell on a beach in front of Mitiga airport," Abdulsalam Ashour, a deputy interior minister with the UN-backed Government of National Accord.

Tensions are reported to have begun early in the day, leading to gunfire in the afternoon, causing major traffic problems and disrupted flights.

The beach, located just off a coastal road near the airport, is popular with families trying to escape the capital city and the heat of summer in the evenings.

The area sometimes becomes dangerous however, as parts of Tripoli are claimed by a variety of armed organised crime gangs with access to heavy weaponry.

One opposition leader told The New Arab that criminality was increasing due to a "total lack of police or any effective security".

"There's been a security breakdown in Tripoli with kidnappings, car thefts and killings on the rise," said Guma al-Gamaty, the head of the Taghyeer Party in Libya.