By Moutaz Mathi.
Tripoli, 24 June 2016:
The two militias involved in clashes last night around Tripoli’s Abu Sleem area have accused each other of being responsible.
The militia belonging to Abdul Ghani Al-Kikli (a.k.a. Ghneiwa) claim they were responding to the murder of a child by members of the forces of other local warlord Salah Al-Burki. They say that Burki’s men had targeted the boy’s father, who works Ghneiwa, while he was driving. The father, named as Hussein Al-Naib survived the attempt.
From their part, the Al-Burki militia claimed that they had been transporting a criminal to a prosecutor’s office when they were attacked by Ghneiwa’s forces, intent on freeing him. They named the alleged criminal as Ahmed Al-Bousifi, saying that he had been involved in several cases including kidnapping for ransom.
The neighbouring districts of Abu Sleem and Hadba where the two militias are respectively based were calm earlier today but still tense, with fears that fresh clashes could break out at any minute. Those fears proved justified when shooting in Abu Sleem again started before Maghreb prayers. After a short break for iftar, it recommenced.
There were reports that two, possibly three, members of Burki’s men were killed in last night’s clashes. One report had earlier suggested they were between the Ghneiwa and Al-Burki militias on one side and the Misratans on the another side. This was not so. However, many in Burki’s militia are said to be from families originally from Misrata.