Updated at 9:00 pm: 5 people were killed and 33 others wounded – 6 in critical condition- during today’s clashes in southern Tripoli, initial figures released by the Ministry of Health show
Heavy fighting broke out in Libyan capital on Monday between rival groups under the Presidential Council’s fragile authority.
Armed groups of the 7th Brigade - a.k.a Kanyat - from Tarhuna city advanced early in the day in Khallat Furjan, Ein Zara, Wadi Rabea and Salah Eddine districts in southern Tripoli in a bid to gain more control in the region.
The 7th Brigade has been stationed in Tripoli’s southern Gasir Ben Ghashir district for more than a year by orders from the Presidential Council to protect the southern borders of Tripoli.
While advancing, the 7th brigade exchanged heavy fire with a coalition of armed brigades made up of Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, Misrata’s 301 Brigade, Bab Tajoura Brigade, Ghanewa Brigade and Nawasi Brigade.
The fighting has left on civilian dead and three others wounded due to indiscriminate shelling, according to initial figures released by Tripoli Security Directorate.
It also caused widespread damage to the people’s properties.
Two senior commanders Hamid Hawzir from Nawasi Brigade and Morwan Karaa from Bab Tajoura Brigade were reported dead in the clashes.
The Ministry of Health declared a state of emergency and urged its staff to stay on high alert.
The 7th Brigade claimed control of Yarmouk military camp in Salah Eddine district, but a source from Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade denied this.
The reason of clashes remains unclear with the 7th Brigade accusing Tripoli brigades of being “corrupt.”
Meanwhile, the Presidential Council condemned what it said “the armed attack by outlaw groups on Tripoli.”
It said in a statement after hours of heavy gunfire that orders were given to deter the attackers, warning them of international sanctions.
For their part, Tarhuna tribal leaders vowed in a statement support to the 7th Brigade “in its war on corruption and thieves of public money.”