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At least 10 people dead in an armed confrontation in Tripoli

Twenty-five people were wounded and at least ten people dead, one of them being a child. According to the statistics of the Emergency Medicine Department, this is the result of the confrontation that took place in Tripoli on the night of the 21st of July. The firing between the two armed brigades lasted all night until dawn in an area of the city that is usually very crowded. As per the reports of The Libya Observer, the two groups fighting were the representatives of The Special Deterrence Force (SDF), led by Abdul-Raof Karaو, and Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade (TRB), led by Ayoub Abu Ras. The former is politically near to the national unity government, and the latter is the political sustainer of the Presidential Council. According to sources, the conflict originated from the kidnapping of one of the senior commanders of the SDF by some TRB members.

The SDF, also known as RADA or Ministry of Interior RADAA Special forces, is a radical Islamist special operations military police unit part of the Madkhali strain intending to tackle crime in Tripoli because of a lack of political power and police presence in the capital.

The confrontation is the result of a long tension that started months ago since two prime ministers are currently contending to power over Libya. The country itself has been unstable for the last ten years since the death of Moammar Gadhafi and the consequent power vacuum left behind.

The attacks first started in the districts of Zwait Dahmani and Furnaj, where the SDF forces targeted areas under the control of the TRB. These areas are quite residential, so many civils found themselves in the middle of the conflict and witnessed severe property damage. Sixty students were trapped in university dormitories until rescue, while the others found shelter in wedding venues for the night since the fighting started while they were attending ceremonies.

The 444 Brigade has intervened to stop the conflict. The Brigade is part of the Tripoli Military District in the General Staff of the Libyan Army, but the militia is not recognized officially by the state, considered a threat to the existence of the other militias. The Presidential Council has also requested a ceasefire to stabilize the situation.

Now the fighting is being resumed, on the afternoon of the 22nd of July, in Mashtel Road in Ain Zara as the SDF keeps stealing territory from the TRB.

The flights over the airport of Mitiga have been suspended for safety reasons.

Imagecredits: Al Jazeera

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