Libyan Official: 1 Killed, 5 Wounded in Tripoli Clashes
Intense fighting erupted in the Libyan capital overnight and lasted until Saturday morning, with rival factions exchanging heavy gunfire and the sounds of several loud blasts ricocheting around the city.
Pictures and video shared online of the city center showed military vehicles speeding through the streets, fighters shooting and local residents trying to douse fires.
The clashes left least one civilian dead and wounded five others, a health official said.
Malek Merset, an emergency services spokesman, told The Associated Press that Mustafa Baraka, a comedian known for his social media videos, died after he was shot in the chest. Merset said his body was taken to a Tripoli hospital.
He said at least five other civilians were wounded in the clashes that centered in the capital city of Tripoli. Footage circulated online showed houses and vehicles apparently damaged from the fighting.
The violence pits the Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade militia, led by Haitham Tajouri, against another militia allied with Abdel-Ghani al-Kikli, an infamous warlord known as “Gheniwa,” according to local media.
"This is horrible. My family and I could not sleep because of the clashes. The sound was too loud and too frightening," Reuters reported Abdulmenam Salem, a central Tripoli resident, as saying.
"We stayed awake in case we had to leave quickly. It's a terrible feeling."
The main Libyan standoff pits the Government of National Unity in Tripoli under Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah against a rival administration under Fathi Bashagha, which is backed by the eastern-based parliament.
The United Nations mission in the country warned this week against any attempt to resolve the dispute through violence.