Civilians Injured as Militias Clash in Libyan Capital

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On Thursday, violent clashes erupted between militias in the Ghout Al-Shaal area of Tripoli. Eyewitnesses said that two civilians were wounded by RPG shrapnel.

“Clashes with medium and heavy weapons erupted inside populated civilian areas and neighbourhoods of Ghout Al-Shaal in downtown Tripoli, amid a state of panic and fear among residents,” an eyewitness tweeted.

Another said that the clashes took place between the First Company of Public Security, and the Third Company.

Last month, two children were killed during the clashes that erupted between rival militias. Sources told Al-Arabiya that tanks and various types of medium and heavy weapons were used during the fighting.

Video clips circulating on social media also showed the firing of grenades and RPGs from both sides, while thick smoke was seen rising between the buildings, amid reports of civilian casualties.

These clashes came two days after similar clashes between militias in Tripoli, despite UN and international warnings against the use of violence.

The Libyan Ambulance Services announced that the death toll from Sunday’s clashes in Al-Zawiya had risen to five, and 13 injuries.

The Ambulance Service reported that a house was hit, and that it was receiving distress calls, but it was “impossible to move inside the area due to the increase of clashes.”
Fathi Bashaghas Ministry of Interior blamed the recent clashes in Al-Zawiya on the Government of National Unity’s (GNU) decision to “give legitimacy to outlaws.”

In a statement, the ministry “denounced in the strongest terms the armed clashes in Al-Zawiya, and the resulting intimidation, and property damage.” It noted that it had “initiated inference processes and legal procedures against the perpetrators of the clashes, to bring them to justice.”

It called on the “international community to assume its responsibilities in the face of the clashes, which have become frequent, and endanger the lives of civilians.”