Libya: Clashes erupt in Gharyan

Fresh clashes erupted on Saturday between fighters in neighboring Libyan towns, killing two people and wounding at least 36.

Militants attacked each other with firearms and rockets in Gharyan and Assabia, in the latest outbreak of violence since the ousting of former leader Muammar Qaddafi.

Sounds of gunfire and explosions could be heard in the background as fighters from Gharyan loaded a tank close to the frontline. Former rebels gathered nearby in armoured vehicles, some mounted with anti-aircraft guns.

Victims of the clashes blamed militants in Assabia for their ongoing loyalty to Qaddafi’s ousted regime. This claim is an example of how militias have continued to argue over territory and influence, as well as accusing each other of supporting the deceased despot.

Libya’s interim government has been struggling to stifle tensions between armed insurgent groups, as they refuse to hand over their weapons due to their lack of confidence in the country’s new body of leaders.

The head of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, said that ongoing disputes between rival tribes could potentially escalate into a civil war.

In a move to form a new unified national army, a leader was appointed recently to recruit former rebel fighters, in the hope they will form a cohesive group.

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