Deadly clashes between rival militias in Libya’s capital left residents trapped in their homes on Tuesday, unable to escape the violence, authorities said.
The fighting appears to be the most intense to shake Tripoli this year. There were at least four dead but it was not immediately clear if they were militiamen or civilians, an official said.
The clashes erupted late on Monday between militiamen from the 444 brigade and the Special Deterrence Force, according to local media reports. Tensions flared after Mahmoud Hamza, a senior commander of the 444 brigade, was allegedly detained by the rival group at an airport in Tripoli earlier in the day, the reports said.
Throughout the fighting Tuesday, the Health Ministry urged the warring sides to allow ambulance and emergency teams to enter the affected areas, primarily in the south of the city, and for blood to be sent to nearby hospitals.
Abdel Rahman Kaplan, a spokesmen from a medical group affiliated with Libya’s Defense Ministry, told Libya National Channel on Tuesday evening that four bodies had been recovered and that 20 who were wounded were being treated in hospitals.