Tripoli, 27 June:
Kufra is again relatively quiet this evening, Wednesday, after fresh clashes on Tuesday left a number of people wounded. The clashes were said to be the most violent in recent weeks. In one incident, a vehicle containing one of the Libyan Shield battalion commanders in Kufra, Muhammed Arabi, was attacked by an armed group in the Tebu neighbourhood of Qaderfi. The vehicle was attacked with a rocket-propelled grenade but it did not explode.
According to a journalist from the Tadamon news agency, three people were killed in the fighting, two of them members of the Shield forces. Another 22 were wounded.
These figures are thought not to include Tebu dead and wounded. Tadamon reported that the local hospital had received the bodies of three dead Tebus. Additionally, according to Tebu sources, 15 of their people were injured in the fighting.
The shooting finally ended at around 1 a.m. this morning. However, it was reported to have started again this evening, although not on the same scale as yesterday. “There is nothing serious,” a Tebu spokesman told Libya Herald, “just a few short bursts of fire”.
Reports that Tebu leader Abdul Majid Essa had been wounded in yesterday’s fighting have been denied. “I spoke to him a short while ago and he’s fine”, said Youis Essa, a cousin, earlier today.
Meanwhile, a delegation of elders from Misrata, Zawia and the Nafusa mountains has been in Kufra trying to mediate a permanent peace. They have effectively replaced the team from Adjabiya which had been sent by the NTC. They have now left, having failed to broker a lasting peace.
A source in the Shield forces blamed the Tebus for the failure and for yesterday’s attacks. He said that despite the existence of a truce between the two sides and the presence of the mediation team to implement a ceasefire in the town, such actions showed the Tebus’ lack of commitment to any truce and their lack of respect for the elders.
It is reported that there is growing pubic anger in Kufra at the inability of the armed forces to impose peace in the town, and that the anger is directed at the government and NTC.