Panafrican News Agency

Libyan PM calls meeting on Tripoli clashes on Friday

Tripoli Libya (PANA) - Libyan Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbaiba has called a meeting on the bloody clashes that occurred on Friday in Salaheddine area, a southern suburb of Tripoli.

According to reports, some people were killed or injured during the incident that terrified the civilian population.

The meeting, scheduled for late Saturday, will focus on the violent clashes between armed units under the government in the presence of the Libyan Minister of Interior and military leaders.

According to official sources, the Minister of State to the Prime Minister passed on instructions from Mr. Dbaiba for the meeting to the Minister of Interior, the Chief of General Staff under the government of national unity, the military commander of the Tripoli area, the military commander of the western area, the military commander of the central area, the military commander of the western Sahel area and the military prosecutor general.

Residents of Tripoli and its suburbs were awakened early Friday by gunfire and explosions around the al-Tekbali barracks, headquarters of the 444th Fighting Brigade, an elite unit of the armed forces in charge of security and tracking down terrorist groups, human traffickers, fuel traffickers and illegal migration.

The military commander of Tripoli, Abdelbaset Marouane, accused the "444th Fighting Brigade" of "ceasing to obey military orders", saying, in a statement to the press, that "what happened in the area is part of the will of the military hierarchy to correct the drifts of the "444th Fighting Brigade" after the observation made on its refusal to obey orders".

He added that he had ordered members of the "stability support body" to take control of the Brigade's arms stocks, which included individuals who "have nothing to do with the military services".

In a video circulating on social networks, one of the Brigade members, surrounded by hooded people, claimed that he and his comrades were among those who attacked the barracks and that they are members of the "stability support body", one of the security units under the government's authority, while the military commander in Tripoli denied "any connection of the security services with these clashes".

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya expressed "deep concern" over the fighting, which included uncontrolled gunfire in Salaheddine, a popular district of the capital.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Mission called for an immediate halt to the fighting, urging all parties to exercise restraint and ensure the protection of civilians and civilian structures in accordance with international law.

-0- PANA AD/IN/JSG/BBA/AR 4Sept2021