Clashes erupt between Gaddafi loyalists, ex-rebels in southern Libya

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

Al-Akhbar Management

Published Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fresh clashes erupted Tuesday in the southern Libyan city of Sebha pitting supporters of slain leader Muammar Gaddafi against government forces and former rebels, a military source said.

The latest fighting was sparked by the arrival of government reinforcements who aim to dislodge the Gaddafi supporters from several positions they occupy in and around the desert city, said Al-Ferjani Akila, of the Sebha Operations Center.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

"Clashes are taking place between the army and former rebels from Misrata on one side and supporters of the old regime on the other," he said.

The coastal city of Misrata saw some of the bloodiest combat of the eight-month NATO-sponsored uprising that toppled Gaddafi, who was captured and killed by rebels in October 2011.

At least 88 people have been killed and 130 wounded over the past two weeks in fighting between rival tribes in Sebha.

The fighting initially pitted the Arab Awled Sleiman tribe against members of the Toubou, a non-Arab ethnic group that has long complained of being marginalized by Tripoli. The Awled Sleiman have also clashed with other Arab tribes.

Gaddafi loyalists have taken advantage of the chaos to launch repeated attacks on the city's Tamenhant air base, according to local officials.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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