Tribal clashes in south Libya kill 20

Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:24am GMT
 

By Hadeel Al Shalchi

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Clashes between rival militias in southern Libya killed 20 people on Monday, a doctor at a regional hospital said, highlighting the challenge the government faces in imposing its authority months after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

Local council member Ahmed Abdelkadir said clashes first broke out on Sunday between former rebel fighters from Sabha, Libya's fourth largest city, and gunmen from the Tibu tribe after a Sabha man was killed in a dispute over a car.

He said the militias opened fire at each other on the outskirts of Sabha. A local doctor, Ibrahim Misbah, said 20 fighters died of gunshot wounds and more than 40 people were wounded.

"The numbers are from the Sabha side only. The Tibu wounded are being taken to a different hospital," he said by phone.

Sabha fighter Oweidat al-Hifnawi said the fighting centered around the airport road and that at one point Tibu fighters controlled the entrance of the airport.

"The airport is now under our control but it is not functioning at the moment," Hifnawi said.

A witness added that the tail of an airplane on the tarmac was hit in the fighting.

It was not immediately possible to reach the Tibu side.   Continued...

 
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