World, Africa

Renewed clashes erupt in Libya’s Sabha; soldier killed

Southwestern city has been rocked by sporadic clashes circumstances of which remain unclear

03.04.2018
Renewed clashes erupt in Libya’s Sabha; soldier killed File photo

By Walid Abdullah

TRIPOLI, Libya

A Libyan soldier was killed Tuesday in renewed clashes in the southwestern city of Sabha amid conflicting reports as to who was responsible, according to a Libyan military source.

The source, who spoke to Anadolu Agency anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to media, said the clashes had occurred near Sabha’s militarized zone.

The militarized zone includes several military installations, including a camp affiliated with the army’s Sixth Brigade, members of which are drawn mainly from the Awlad Suleiman tribe.

Late Monday, the Sabha Medical Center announced that at least 10 people had been killed -- and another 38 injured -- in armed clashes that have rocked the city intermittently since late February.

Women, children and elderly people have been among the casualties, according to the medical center.

According to some reports, the clashes have pitted the Awlad Suleiman against the Tabu, a rival tribe.

Other reports, however, suggest the clashes have pitted the Libyan army against “foreign” forces, including armed groups from neighboring Chad.

The relative veracity of both narratives remains unclear.

Libya has remained in disarray since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising ended with the ouster and death of President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government -- one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli -- and a host of heavily-armed militia groups.

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