Official death toll triples for Nafusa Mountain clashes
Tripoli, 20 June:
A hundred and five people were killed and around 500 wounded during last week’s clashes in the Nafusa Mountains, government spokesman Nasser Al-Manaa said today.
The new death toll for the fighting, which took place over one week around Zintan and Shagiga, is triple that given by the Health Ministry just a few days ago, in which it was claimed that 32 had died and 162 had been wounded.
There have been no new reports of fighting since Monday, two days after the government sent forces to the region and declared it a military zone. “The armed forces are now on the ground and calm has returned”, El-Manee said.
He added that “both heavy and light weapons” had been used during the fighting. Last Thursday, Libya Herald reporters clearly overheard sustained heavy gunfire from nearby Jadu.
The fighting initially began on 11 June after a brigadesman from Zintan was allegedly shot dead at a checkpoint controlled by the Mashasha tribe. Resentment between the two groups was exacerbated by last year’s revolution, in which the Zintanis and the Mashasha fought on opposing sides, with the Mashasha supporting Qaddafi.
On Sunday, Libya’s UN chief, Ian Martin, warned that imposing temporary ceasefires was not enough, and that the government and others involved needed to address the root causes of such conflicts.
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