BEIRUT

Middle East

Clashes with Gadhafi remnants erupt in southern Libya

Boy walks through Tiouri slum in the southern Libyan city of Sebha on Sept. 21, 2013, which is populated almost entirely by stateless Tuareg and Tabu tribesmen. (AP Photo/Paul Schemm).

TRIPOLI: Fresh clashes erupted Tuesday in the southern Libyan city of Sebha pitting supporters of slain dictator Moamer Gadhafi against government forces and former rebels, a military source said.

The latest fighting was sparked by the arrival of government reinforcements who aim to dislodge the Gadhafi supporters from several positions they occupy in and around the desert city, said Al-Ferjani Akila, of the Sebha Operations Centre.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

"Clashes are taking place between the army and former rebels from Misrata on one side and supporters of the old regime on the other," he said.

The coastal city of Misrata saw some of the bloodiest combat of the eight-month uprising that toppled Kadhafi, who was captured and killed by rebels in October 2011.

At least 88 people have been killed and 130 wounded over the past two weeks in fighting between rival tribes in Sebha.

The fighting initially pitted the Arab Awled Sleiman tribe against members of the Toubou, a non-Arab ethnic group that has long complained of being marginalised by Tripoli. The Awled Sleiman have also clashed with other Arab tribes.

Gadhafi loyalists have taken advantage of the chaos to launch repeated attacks on the city's Tamenhant air base, according to local officials.

 

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