By Saber Ayyub.
Tripoli, 30 March 2016:
Shortly after Khalifa Ghwell had warned Faiez Serraj to get out of Tripoli or face arrest, . . .[restrict]Nabaa TV station in the capital, which had carried his press conference, was shut down by “angry residents”
Details are unclear but the building near Suq Al-Juma was apparently seized by armed men earlier this evening and ceased putting out its normal programmes. Instead a big red headline was broadcast reading “The residents of Tripoli have closed down this channel which was inciting war and hatred. We will sue anyone trying to work with it”.
Nabaa, which is widely believed to be owned by Abdul-Hakim Belhaj carried Ghwell’s statement as did Sheikh Sadeq Ghariani’s Tanasuh channel.
For much of the afternoon there have been reports of exchanges of fire in various parts of Tripoli, including Abusleem. Heavy weapons were fired in Omar Mukhtar Street. “We have been ordered by loudspeakers not to leave our apartment and to keep away from windows” Suad, a local resident told the Libya Herald by phone.
By and large the streets have been empty as nervous residents stayed indoors. However it appears that in the afternoon, Misratan militia leader Salah Badi led an anti-Serraj demonstration in Martyrs’ Square, focused on a tent and platform for speeches which his supporters erected some months ago. The tent is believed to have somehow caught fire and Rada forces of Abdul Rauf Kara then moved in and dispersed the demonstrators. Kara is widely seen to be supporting the Government of National Accord.
The Ghwell administration this evening announced that Mitiga airport would remain closed, as it has been for the past two days, with all flights diverted to Misrata. In his statement tonight Ghwell had accused Serraj of seeking to reach Tripoli by air, using other passengers as a human shield. As it is, it appears that the prime minister-designate and his colleagues reached the Bu Sitta naval base in the heart of Tripoli, travelling on a Libyan navy fast patrol vessel. [/restrict]