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Clashes Erupt Between Armed Groups In Libyan Capital

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Clashes between armed groups erupted in Libya’s capital Tripoli Friday night leading to the death of one person, according to local media.

The clashes are happening as the country reels from a failed coup attempt three weeks ago.

Heavy exchanges of gunfire and explosions ricocheted across several districts of Tripoli, an AFP journalist reported, while images broadcast by local press showed civilians fleeing heavily trafficked areas.

The intense fighting involved two influential militias from western Libya, local media reported.

No motive for the fighting was immediately apparent, but it is the latest violence to rock the country as two rival prime ministers vie for power.

After a 2011 revolt toppled longtime dictator Mouammar Kadhafi, political infighting to fill the power vacuum has plagued oil-rich Libya.

Last month, politician Fathi Bashagha attempted to seize power by force, sparking pre-dawn clashes between armed groups supporting him and those backing interim premier Abdulhamid Dbeibah.

Dbeibah was appointed under a troubled UN-led peace process early last year to lead a transition to elections set for December 2021, but the vote was indefinitely postponed.

In February, parliament appointed Bashagha, a one-time interior minister, to take over, arguing that Dbeibah’s mandate had ended.

But Dbeibah has insisted he will only relinquish power to an elected administration.

The coastal road of Tripoli was closed to traffic due to the fighting which also led to panic among women and children, footage aired on local media showed.

Another clash reportedly broke out in Omar Muhtar, the most important street in the capital.

The Tripoli-based February TV channel announced that the 444th Brigade of the Defense Ministry was deployed to the Suk es-Sulesa region where the clashes erupted to quell the crisis and rescue families that were trapped.



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