Nine militias were killed on Thursday in violent clashes between rival armed factions of Libya Dawn and Zintan forces in west of Libya’s capital Tripoli, according to military sources.
“A surprise attack was carried out by Zintan militias and tribal forces, specifically in the crossroads between the towns of Bir al-Ghanam and Zawiya where our troops are stationed,” a source of Libya Dawn forces told Xinhua.
“More than 30 military vehicles backed by infantry fired heavily against our forces. And our troops responded strongly. Violent clashes took place for more than two hours, killing four of our troops and injuring six others,” the source added.
The source stressed that sporadic clashes are still going on near the area.
Meanwhile, a military source of the internationally recognized government’s army told Xinhua that five members of Zintan forces were killed in the clashes, while eight others were wounded.
Zintan militias and tribal forces, who are loyal to the Libyan national army, are engaged in heavy fightings in western Libya, particularly the outskirts of the towns Sabratha, El-Ajelat, and Zawiya, against militias of Libya Dawn since the armed Islamist coalition took over Tripoli in August 2014.
Libya has been witnessing frayed political process since the 2011 turmoil, which toppled its former leader Muammar Gaddafi, and it is now juggling two rival parliaments, the secular House of Representatives and the Islamist-backed General National Congress.
The Islamist militants and pro-secular Libyan national army have been vying for cities and towns for months, and fighting still flares near major cities like Benghazi and Tripoli. Enditem