Libya, clashes between militias in Tripoli: the death toll rises to 55

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By John

The balance of clashes in Tripoli between militias continues to worsen: at least 55 dead and 146 injured, as reported by the Libyan TV al-Ahrar, quoting a spokesman for the Emergency Medical Center. Previously the toll was 27 dead and 106 wounded, before a temporary truce took hold. The fighting between the 444 Brigade and the Rada Force, or Special Deterrence Force, two of the many formations that arose after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, they erupted southeast of the capital on Monday night.
At least 55 people were killed and 146 injured, he said on television al-Ahrar Malek Mersit, Emergency Medical Center spokesperson. Previously, the same center had reported that 234 families and dozens of foreign doctors and nurses had been evacuated from the southern areas of the city and that three field hospitals had been set up and about sixty ambulances had been mobilized to come to the aid of the injured and wounded civilians involved in the fighting.
The clashes began on Monday when members of Rada Force arrested the colonel Mahmud Hamza, commander of the 444 Brigade. On Tuesday evening, the “social council”, made up of notables from Soug al Joumaa, a sector southeast of Tripoli and a stronghold of the Rada Force, announced that Hamza would be transferred to a neutral zone and that when this happened, a ceasefire would be proceeded. Late Tuesday evening the fighting subsided and Tripoli resumed its daily rhythm on Wednesday, albeit in a tense atmosphere. At the end of May, the two groups had clashed in the city center, causing minor injuries.
Both the Rada Force and the 444 Brigade are aligned with the Dbeibah government, established in Tripoli and recognized by the UN and are among the most powerful armed groups in Tripoli.
The 444 Brigade reports to the Ministry of Defense and is considered the most disciplined of the Western armed groups. The Rada Force acts as the police in Tripoli. It declares itself independent from the government and controls the center and east of the city, the Mitiga airport and a prison.
The same Abdel Hamid Dbeibah he visited the area devastated by the fighting on Tuesday night, together with the interior minister, and asked that “the material damage be calculated to compensate the citizens”, according to the government.
The Ministry of the Interior has set up a security mechanism to monitor the ceasefire and has deployed forces in the highest voltage sectors. Commercial flights, temporarily diverted to Misrata (200 km to the east), resumed Wednesday morning, according to the press service, at Mitiga airport, the only civilian airport in Tripoli.
On Tuesday, the UN mission in Libya and the embassies of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy and the European Union called for an “immediate de-escalation” and that “the progress made in recent years in the field of security” be protected.