Libya: Deadly clashes erupt in Tripoli between two influential armed factions

About thirty people were killed and a hundred others injured in violent clashes that took place from Monday to Tuesday between two influential armed groups in the southeast suburbs of Tripoli, according to the Emergency Medicine Center.


Combat between two major armed factions in the southeast suburbs of Tripoli has resulted in 27 deaths, according to medical sources on Wednesday, August 16th. A hundred people were injured during the clashes which raged from Monday to Tuesday, the same sources added.

In a “provisional report” posted on Facebook, the emergency agency managing relief efforts in western Libya reported 27 deaths and 106 injuries in the heavy weapon clashes between two influential armed groups in the Libyan capital.

According to the same source, 234 families were rescued and evacuated, as well as several dozen foreign doctors or nurses who were trapped since Monday night in combat zones south of the capital.

Three field hospitals and about sixty ambulances were mobilized to rescue the wounded and evacuate civilians to safer areas.

Combat due to an arrest

The clashes began after the arrest of Colonel Mahmoud Hamza, commander of Brigade 444, by Al-Radaa Force on Monday, August 14th. No information has been given so far about the reasons for his arrest.

Late on Tuesday, the “social council,” composed of notable figures and influential personalities from Soug el-Joumaa, the southeast sector of Tripoli and stronghold of Al-Radaa Force, announced that it had reached an agreement with the sitting government’s prime minister, Abdelhamid Dbeibah, to transfer Colonel Mahmoud Hamza to a “neutral party,” without providing any further details.

In a statement read on television by its dean, the council indicated that de-escalation and a ceasefire would follow this measure, which led to a return to calm from Tuesday night to Wednesday in Tripoli.

Heavy and medium weapon combat broke out on Monday night and continued until Tuesday evening between Brigade 444 and Al-Radaa Force in several sectors of the southeastern suburbs of the Libyan capital, with indiscriminate gunfire hitting inhabited areas.

These two groups are among the most influential in Tripoli, where one of the two governments vying for power in a country plagued by divisions fueled by the proliferation of armed groups with shifting allegiances is based, following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011.


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