Armed groups clash west of Libyan capital

Bol News  |  May 15, 2022

Violent clashes shook a western region of the Libyan capital overnight and into Sunday morning, an interior ministry source claimed as local media reported the death of a militia commander.

Janzour, in the western suburbs of Tripoli, is home to the UN Support Mission in Libya’s headquarters as well as guarded compounds for foreign diplomatic missions’ workers.

“The clashes between armed groups broke out late Saturday night and continued until Sunday morning in the area between the towns of Sayyad and Janzour,” the ministry source told AFP, asking to remain anonymous.

The fighting “damaged private homes” and for several hours forced the closure of the coastal road that runs from Tripoli to the Tunisian border, said the source who did not report any casualties.

Local media reported the death of a commander of one of the groups in Sayyad, a small town about 25 kilometres (15 miles) west of Tripoli, killed by another armed group.

On social networks, several unauthenticated videos showed gunfire between armed men using military vehicles near Janzour.

Libya plunged into violent lawlessness in 2011 with the NATO-backed revolt that toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi. Armed groups have vied for control of territory as a string of interim governments have come and gone.

Many of these organizations have been assimilated into the state, partially to get access to the country’s immense oil resources, and human rights organizations have frequently accused them of abuses.

The country of North Africa is once again divided between two governments.

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