Tripoli, March 18: A Zintan brigadesman was reported killed in the Tripoli suburb of Abu Selim on Sunday afternoon after clashes broke . . .[restrict]out between rival militiamen.
The fighting was initially reported as being between “pro-Qaddafi” elements and the Zintan brigade which operates out of a former school in the district. Abu Selim, home to the notorious prison, had a reputation during last year’s revolution of being the most pro-Qaddafi area of the city.
In fact the fighting started between supporters of the previous head of Abu Selim military council and those backing the new one. Both tried to take control of the building housing the military council. When this turned into a shootout, the Zintan Qaqaa brigade were sent in to try and restore order. The rival factions then turned their guns on the Zintanis, killing at least one of them and wounding two others before the brigade was able to pacify the area.
Several members of the military council have been arrested and a large quantity of arms seized.
In a separate, unrelated event during the day, the Suq Al-Juma brigade retook control of Tripoli’s Mitiga airbase. It had handed it to the air force only just over a week ago. The takeover followed clashes in Suq Al-Juma over lack of payments to some brigade members as promised by the authorities.
Later on Sunday evening, angry brigadesmen air in Fashloum and Zawiat Al-Dahmnani districts fired guns for over an hour into the air, also in protest at not being paid. Over the past 10 days there have been similar protests elsewhere in the capital.
Many brigadesmen have been paid, but not all. The disturbances have been caused by the absence of some brigadesmen’s names from the payment lists and the presence of others who were not involved in the revolution.
The mistakes, thought to be caused by incompetence rather than deliberate falsification, have caused considerable bitterness. [/restrict]