- BayBak, Voice of a Nation - http://www.en.baybak.com -
Libya after the fake victory: lethal Tripoli gun battle
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 532 days ago | Tuesday, 3rd January , 2012 , 23:51 [pm] | International
|.|| Former rebels from Tripoli controlling a security compound in the capital fought off dozens of fighters from Misurata who were trying to seize prisoners in a gun battle that lasted for more than an hour, health workers and former rebels said.
Real power still resides with the militias, more than two months after they captured and killed Gaddafi. They have since carved up the capital and country into competing fiefdoms, each holding
Months after a so called revolution to bring democracy, Libya is in bloodshed again. According to Reuters, four fighters were killed in a gun battle between Libyan militias in one of Tripoliâ€™s busiest streets on Tuesday.
The gunfight was a fresh sign that Libyaâ€™s new government is struggling to control the increasingly fractious groups that overthrew Muammer Gaddafi.
Former rebels from Tripoli controlling a security compound in the capital fought off dozens of fighters from Misurata who were trying to seize prisoners in a gun battle that lasted for more than an hour, health workers and former rebels said.
Real power still resides with the militias, more than two months after they captured and killed Gaddafi. They have since carved up the capital and country into competing fiefdoms, each holding out for the share of power they say they are owed.
After the fighting, armed men combed central Tripoli looking for Misuratan fighters. A Reuters witness saw them capture one man, swarm around and kick and punch him as he was marched into the compound.
A pickup truck daubed with the words â€œThe Defence Brigade, Misurata Revolutionariesâ€ lay across the road, riddled with bullets and with blood stains on the back seat. One fighter said 11 militiamen from Misurata had been captured.
â€œSome of them screamed â€˜Weâ€™re from Misurata, you dogs!â€™ while they were firing,â€ said another Tripoli fighter. â€œThey wanted to take them [the prisoners] by force, they used 106mm [rocket] launchers and 14mm machineguns.â€
The battle on Tripoliâ€™s Zawiya road was the first between militias since December 11, when soldiers from Libyaâ€™s new national army fought militiamen for control of the capitalâ€™s international airport.
Rival militias with regional allegiances control several compounds abandoned by Gaddafi loyalists as they were overrun in August. Rebels from Misurata, in particular, hold a vast arsenal of tanks, rockets and guns.
Militias were given a deadline of December 20 to leave the capital. They have dismantled most of their checkpoints and limited their presence on Tripoliâ€™s streets but have kept some bases, saying they will only hand them over to the state when adequate security forces are in place.
Vehicles carrying dozens of fighters and heavy calibre machineguns blocked roads and snipers were stationed on rooftops.
â€œThe situation is under control,â€ said Abdul Hakim Belhadj, an Islamist whose Tripoli military council says it has a mandate from Libyaâ€™s new rulers to secure the capital.
â€œThe people who caused the problem were arrested and will face justice,â€ he told reporters.
A few hundred metres down the road at Tripoliâ€™s central hospital, dozens of militants filled the corridor leading to the emergency room. A few elderly women, relatives of the dead and injured, sobbed as they hurried towards the hospital., Voice of a Nation