By Jamal Adel and Seraj Essul.
Tripoli, 1 February 2014:
Although the streets in Sebha are now calm after the recent . . .[restrict]fighting, they remain largely empty, this time because of a petrol shortage. Only one petrol station was open yesterday– until supplies ran out.
According to a Brega Oil Company official, there is plenty of petrol in the storage tanks but with the electricity lines damaged during the clashes, there is no power and the pumps are not working.
“They’re fixing it. As soon as the electricity is back, they’ll start distributing petrol to the stations,” he said.
Head of Sebha Local Council, Ayoub Alzaroug, blamed the electricity cuts on high winds rather than military action for bringing down lines.
Shops were opening as and when security permitted but banks, schools and businesses were expected to remain shut tomorrow, a local resident said. Although the army had secured the airport, there were no police or armed forces on the streets or manning checkpoints, he said.
Alzaroug confirmed the absence of troops and police but said they would be deployed shortly. He added that after over three weeks of clashes in which at least 148 died and over 320 were wounded, first between the Awlad Sulaiman and the Tebu, then between Qaddafi supporters and the security forces, “people feel they can resume their normal lives”.
Of the dead and wounded, Sebha Central Hospital’s Abdullah Haider told the Libya Herald that it had dealt with 108 killed, 15 of them unknown, and over 200 injured, while Mohamed Ali Whamer at Murzuk, Hospital said it had registered 38 dead and 117 wounded. [/restrict]