By Ali Salem.
Tripoli, 26 November 2014:
There were clashes last night in Zawia and a local militia leader was arrested after he . . .[restrict]declared support for the House of Representatives.
The incident started when members of 21 Company, part of the Abu Raawi Brigade, went to Zawia’s Martyrs Square yesterday and announced they were transferring their loyalty to the HoR.
The leader of the company, Hassan Shalgum, who made the announcement, was later seized by members of the Farouk Unit, part of Libya Dawn, when he returned home. Also reported grabbed by the same unit was the daughter of another 21 Company commander. She is said to have been at the gathering in Martyrs Square.
An angry then crowd headed to the Faruq Unit’s base, where the two were thought to be held, and besieged it, firing into the air. The clashes continued for several hours during which time the home of Imhemed Shoaib, the First Deputy President of the HoR, was also attacked by RPGs and burned. Zawia’s main Islamist unit, the Abu Obeida Brigade, has claimed responsibility for the latter action.
Shalgum and the girl are now said to have been freed but there are unconfirmed reports that Libya Dawn units in south Zawia have pulled out. The area is now seen as actively hostile to them.
Zawia has been largely loyal to Libya Dawn, in no small part because of the town’s rivalry with the neighbouring Warshefana. [/restrict]