Violent clashes erupted on Friday evening between two armed groups in Libya’s western coastal city of Zawiyah, amid reports of casualties between the warring sides.
According to media reports, the fighting was intense, with explosions heard in the Sabratha city. Various types of medium and heavy weapons were reportedly used during the clashes.
Sources confirmed that the clashes erupted after an armed group commanded by terrorist Mahmoud bin Rajab took control of a livestock building located next to Al-Amal School by force. This occurred before another armed group called Awlad Jamoum demanded it vacates the site, which led to the outbreak of violent clashes between them.
Libya has been engulfed in instability and civil conflicts since the overthrow of long-time leader Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.
West Libya continues to suffer from the control of militias, as Tripoli has witnessed a new wave of insecurity and clashes between armed militias. Violent clashes have recently erupted between Al-Far and Ghneiwa, leading to extensive damage to the Al-Zawiya Oil Refinery Complex.
Other clashes in the Al-Farnaj district of Tripoli took place between Ghneiwa and the Judicial Police Affiliated with the (RADA) Special Deterrence Forces led by Abdel-Rauf Kara.
These events show that despite the political progress being made, the country remains under the control of militias and armed groups.
Notably, Libya is currently facing a political crisis after the Libyan Parliament swore in former Interior Minister, Fathi Bashagha, to lead a new interim government in February. Members of Parliament (MPs) argued that incumbent Prime Minister, Abdelhamid Al-Dbaiba’s mandate expired when elections failed to take place in December.
Al-Dbaiba has since refused to cede power, and warned that the appointment of a new government could lead to war and chaos in the country. He renewed his pledge to only hand power over to an elected government.