By Aimen Eljali and Ashraf Abdul-Wahab in Tripoli and Taher Zaroog in Misrata.
8 November 2013:
Misrata city officials have distanced themselves from the group of Misrata forces in Tripoli that brought the worst fighting to the city since the revolution.
There were negotiations between the elders from Misrata, Suq Al-Juma and Tajoura to put an end to the fighting and Misrata Military Council closed the Dafniya checkpoint west of the city to prevent any armed force trying to head towards Tripoli.
Meanwhile the family of the Misrata brigade commander Nuri Friwan, whose death yesterday sparked attacks by his forces and supporters in Tripoli on local brigades in Suq Al-Juma, Tajoura and elsewhere in the capital, issued a statement saying it disassociated itself from any retaliation and called for an end to the fighting
It is reported that the overnight clashes left two people dead and 22 injured in Tripoli but this has not yet been confirmed. The dead have been named as Abdu Biali and Sharifaddine Daruil.
There was also damage to buildings in the west and centre of the capital as a result of indiscriminate shelling. The Radisson Blu Mahari hotel was one of the buildings that was slightly damaged.
The fighting, which started around 9.45pm last night when the Misrata brigade attacked forces from Suq Al-Juma at a checkpoint near the seafront Shara Al-Shatt, died down in the early hours of the morning.
During the clashes, which spread elsewhere in the capital, local brigades moved into the former women’s military academy on the Suq Al-Thalath roundabout on the western edge of central Tripoli to dislodge Misratan forces based there.
In a bid to prevent militias moving across the capital, local resident blocked a number of main roads, including the highway. The coast road east of Tripoli was also closed to prevent any other Misrata forces bringing in supplies.
There are a number of different Misrata forces in the capital. Some have been there since the revolution but others arrived when the President of Congress, Nuri Abu Sahmain, set up the Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room this summer to protect it from a perceived but never explained threat.
In Tripoli, where the Misrata forces responsible for the fighting are now being described as “insurgents”, last night’s events have already led to calls for the removal of all non-local forces from the city.
The fighting is expected to further strengthen opposition in Congress to the LROR’s operations in Tripoli when it meets on Sunday.
Frewan’s body arrived yesterday evening at Misrata airport and the funeral prayers and burial ceremony will take place today after Friday prayers at the mosque of Sheikh Mohammed.