A heavily armed brigade from Tarhuna city, known as Kani Brigade, took control on Sunday of Garabulli (Castelverde) town, some 70 km east of Tripoli, and forced the Presidential Council brigades stationed in two checkpoints out of the town.
Local residents said Kani Brigade launched a surprise attack on the town early in the day after two of its members were kidnapped by a gunman from Garabulli named “Saddam” a day before. One of the captives was released and the other was reportedly killed, which ignited the tensions.
Mediation efforts have so far failed to calm the tensions.
Eyewitnesses said Kani Brigade deployed armored vehicles and heavy weapons in the town and engaged in intermittent exchange of fire with one of the brigades that withdrew from the town, causing some damage to power transmission lines. The General Electricity Company announced a load shedding in Tripoli as a result.
Garabulli Municipality demanded Kani Brigade to leave the town immediately, warning that situations in the town would deteriorate if the demand was not met.
Garabulli was under control of a group of Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade and another loyal brigade from Tajoura led by a man called Al-Khabash.
A coalition of Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade and Addaman Brigade from Tajoura drove Misrata brigades out of the town in July 2017 after three days of fierce clashes.