TRIPOLI: Rival factions fought each other in Tripoli overnight and into Friday, killing 13 people in the Libyan capital’s worst clashes for two years during a dangerous political standoff.
Fighters exchanged fire in a central district where several government and international agencies, along with diplomatic missions, are based, and clashes spread to the areas of Ain Zara and Asbaa.
The main sides involved were both affiliated to the Presidency Council, a three-person body acting as transitional head of state. They included the RADA force, an Interior Ministry spokesperson said.
Fighters from RADA, one of the most powerful forces in Tripoli, were visible around most central areas on Friday morning, while the main Presidency Council building was empty.
Tripoli Ambulance and Emergency Services spokesperson Osama Ali said 13 people were confirmed dead and 27 injured. A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry said three of the dead were civilians. A witness at a hospital said he had seen six bodies.
The shooting began efore midnight and lasted for hours. By midday, the situation was mostly calm in central Tripoli, where some vehicles were burned out and others pocked with bullet hole.