20 dead as Libya tribes clash ‘af­ter mon­key in­ci­dent’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

TRIPOLI — More than 20 peo­ple were killed in fight­ing this week be­tween ri­val tribes in south­ern Libya, a med­i­cal of­fi­cial said on Sun­day, in vi­o­lence re­port­edly sparked by an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing a mon­key.

Wit­nesses said sev­eral homes were hit by rock­ets and shells in the con­fronta­tion.

Nasser al-Je­himi of the med­i­cal cen­tre in Sebha said 21 peo­ple were killed and around 100 oth­ers in­jured in clashes since on Tues­day in the city be­tween Awled Suleiman tribal mem­bers and the Guedadfa tribe of Libya’s top­pled leader Muam­mar Gaddafi.

The ca­su­alty toll was for the Awed Suleiman tribe alone as in­for­ma­tion was not im­me­di­ately avail­able from an­other hos­pi­tal be­ing used for their ri­vals.

The cause of the fight­ing was un­clear, but Libyan and so­cial media said it erupted af­ter a mon­key be­long­ing to one tribe at­tacked a child from the other camp. There was no of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion of the re­port. Salah Badr, a mem­ber of Sebha city coun­cil, de­clined to give specifics but noted that re­la­tions be­tween the two tribes had been strained for many years. “A mi­nor in­ci­dent sparked the fire,” he said. Since the down­fall of Gaddafi in Libya’s 2011 rev­o­lu­tion, the coun­try has been riven by deadly un­rest and po­lit­i­cal di­vi­sions.

Reg­u­lar in­ter-tribal clashes in Sebha have left sev­eral dozen peo­ple dead. — AFP

Ja­cob Zuma

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