Libya Now Engulfed in Fighting After Clashes on August 27th Kill 32

TRIPOLI - The fighting began on August 27th in the capital between militias who are loyal to the Tripoli-based governments and other militias who are aligned with rival administrations which are competing for control of the country.


The death toll has reached 32 so far, which includes 17 civilians, leaving 13 being part of the militias involved in the fighting. Citizens of Libya are in a constant state of fear that the fighting which has been ongoing for the past month, will turn into a wider conflict in their country.

According to AP news, Libya has been in a constant state of trouble since the NATO-supported uprising ousted the administration of Moammar Gadhafi and killed him, as part of the Arab Spring in 2011.

Since then, the country has been divided between two different groups, which are backed by various militias and foreign state entities, all competing for Libya's oil-rich resources.

The current state of affairs comes from Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, Prime Minister of Libya, refusing to step down and the failure of elections to be held in December.

According to the Business Standard, the eastern-based administration in Libya appointed its own prime minister, Fathy Bashagha, who has sought to place his administration in the capital of Tripoli.

The most recent fighting, which took place in the capital of Tripoli, involved heavy artillery fire and hand-to-hand combat in the streets, as burning cars lined them. There were reports of many people being trapped and unable to leave residential, government, and hospital buildings, as they became more and more damaged.

According to the Health Ministry, a total of 32 souls were lost and 159 people have been injured during the fighting in Tripoli. Muchele Servadei of UNICEF has stated that a 17-year-old teenager was among the dead and children as young as 5-years-old, among the wounded.

Mustafa Baraka, a social media comedian who mocked the military and corrupt officials, is listed as among the dead. It was reported by AP News that he was shot during a live-stream video. So far, it is not clear if he was an official target or just caught in the crossfire.

Many witnesses were interviewed by the Associated Press, including women and children, who had been trapped inside their homes and other government buildings. They spoke of horrific fighting, and bodies lining the streets for hours until ambulances could reach them. The witnesses also requested to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal.

"We see death before our eyes and in the eyes of our children,... The world should protect those innocent children like they did at the time of Gadhafi..."

After the fighting had stopped, militias aligned with the prime minister roamed the streets in a defensive position, while rival militias remained at their posts on the outskirts of Tripoli, according to AP news.

Residents, stricken with fear, rushed to the stores after the fighting had ceased, to stock up on food and other supplies. Others were seen inspecting their businesses, homes, and vehicles.

The Associated Press | The Business Standard | The Goshen News

Photo Accreditation
Photo: Skyline of Tripoli | Author: MrPanyGoff | GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.2 | via Wikimedia Commons

Importance Level