Libyan army units use artillery in Tripoli clash


Two Libyan army units used heavy artillery in an exchange of fire overnight centring on a barracks in a densely populated area of southeast Tripoli.

An attack early Friday ordered by the military commander in the capital saw members of a security group set up by ex-premier Fayez al-Sarraj target Al-Tekbali barracks, the headquarters of 444 Brigade.

“What happened… today is a correction of the course taken by 444 Brigade” which has “deviated” and “ceased to obey military orders”, Tripoli area commander Brigadier General Abdelbaset Marouane said in a video message posted on the internet.

The noise of heavy artillery in action was heard throughout the city from just after midnight and lasted until early on Friday morning.

Columns of smoke still hung in the air near the barracks after the fighting stopped, a resident of the heavily populated Salaheddine area in the suburbs told AFP by phone.

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) in a statement expressed its “grave concern” about the clashes and urged all parties to “exercise maximum restraint”.

UNSMIL also called on “all relevant authorities to assume their responsibilities in ensuring the protection of civilians and in exercising control over their respective units”.

Meanwhile, During that celebration, Hafter had said that his Libyan Arab Army (formerly the Libyan National Army – LNA) will never be subject to any civilian authority unless it is elected directly by the Libyan people.

He said the army will not accept deception in the name of civilian (rule) or otherwise and that despite the sharp differences in attitudes towards the homeland, he extends his hands for a just peace.

Haftar said that his eastern-based Libyan Arab Army has never been a tool of oppression and that it has not been authoritarian or arrogant over the people or biased towards a tribe and that it will not be subject to any authority.

He also stressed that the Army is committed to confronting the waves of terrorists who stormed Libya, who raised slogans of death by slaughtering and beheading, and he considered the Libyan Army as the main pillar on which it is based.—AFP

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