Clashes in west Libya kill at least 3: state media
06/12/2012 15:28 GMT
TRIPOLI, June 12, 2012 (AFP) - Fighting between rival tribes in the mountains of western Libya claimed at least three lives and wounded three others, the official LANA news agency said on Tuesday.
"Armed exchanges in the town of Mizdah killed three people and wounded three others," LANA reported, citing medical officials.
It said the fighting erupted late Monday and continued on Tuesday.
Several sources said the clashes focused on the towns of Sheguiga and Mizdah, pitting fighters of the Mashashia tribe against gunmen from the Gontrar tribe and the town of Zintan, 170 kilometers (105 miles) from Tripoli.
They say that the conflict erupted after a resident of Zintan was killed at a roadblock set up by Mashashia tribesmen.
A military spokesman confirmed the clashes to AFP without giving details.
Mashashia tribesmen say that Zintan forces have been shelling their village of Sheguiga since the morning.
"They've been hitting us with tank and rocket fire since 8:00 am (0600 GMT)," said Ramadan al-Mashay, adding the town's electricity had been cut.
"People have been killed and wounded, homes are destroyed," he added.
Tensions between former rebels in Zintan and Mashashia tribesmen have been high since a popular uprising toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi last year.
Zintan fighters are credited with leading the units that captured Tripoli from Kadhafi's forces in August. They also detained the slain dictator's son, Seif al-Islam, on November 19 and have held him ever since.
The Mashashia are accused of backing Kadhafi's regime in the 2011 conflict.
Combats pitting ex-rebels from Zintan against Mashashia tribesmen killed four people in December.
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