By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis/Tripoli, 1 October 2015:
Heavy fighting broke out on several fronts in and around Tripoli this evening as fighters from . . .[restrict]what was previously the Libya Dawn alliance battled one another.
On the city outskirts, near the Wadi Rabie barracks, east of Tripoli International Airport, a battle was reported to have broken out between Misrata militiamen and gunmen loyal to Haitham Tajouri, with exchanges of artillery and machine gun fire. Three Misratans from Al-Merdas Brigade were reported to have been killed in the fighting.
One eyewitness reported “houses are on fire, families are fleeing, there are grads (missiles) exploding”.
The two militias battled along a series of roads skirting the city, with one militia, or possibly local people, putting containers across streets to stop any advances.
One report said the fighting began after Tajouri’s gunmen blocked a road leading to a Misratan base and detained a Misrata militiaman. Fighting was also reported in Suq Al-Juma, with the eastern coastal road closed.
At the western edge of the city, an explosion, possibly a grad, reportedly damaged the 17-kilometre bridge in Janzour, on the coastal highway, leaving at least seven dead. The bridge is now the frontline between forces loyal to the Libya National Army and House of Representatives and those supporting the Tripoli regime. The former have operated a checkpoint there for the past two days.
Meanwhile clashes with machine gun fire were heard in Shara Omar Mukhtar in downtown Tripoli as well as in Zawiat Al-Dahmani, although both may have been nervous gunmen firing into the air. There was also firing in Algeria Square while a fresh attack on the Ruhaimi prison at Ain Zara was also reported, but unconfirmed.
The centre of the capital was otherwise deserted this evening with people off the streets. Locals told the Libya Herald that gunmen had been firing heavy artillery randomly into air and that people were scared to go out.
Meanwhile, there was gunfire in the Warshefana stronghold of Najila west of Tripoli international airport .
The fighting comes amid uncertainty about peace talks taking place at the United Nations in New York.
Misratan units last week pulled out of positions west of Tripoli, with pro-HoR forces from Zintan and the Warshefana moving in to take control of Janzour naval base and cut the coastal highway, the last Libya Dawn-secured route to the Tunisian border. [/restrict]