Fresh tension in Tripoli’s Abu Sleem district

By Moutaz Mathi.

Tripoli, 18 August 2016:

Armed vehicles and tanks have appeared on roads around the Tripoli’s Abu Sleem district including the elevated section of the airport road. They are said to be belong to local strongman Abdul Ghani Al-Kikli (also known as Ghneiwa).

It is rumoured that the show of force is in preparation for a fresh attack by Ghneiwa agaisnt the rival Abu Sleem militia, the Salah Al-Burki brigade.

Both have been clashed several times before, the most recent being on 24 June when each accused the other of targeting its supporters. The rivalry between the two former Libya Dawn allies is fuelled by the fact that most of Burki militia are originally from Misrata while many of the Kikli brigade come from Kikla in the Jebel Nafusa, although they staunchly proclaim their loyalty to Tripoli.

Meanwhile, in the same Abu Sleem district today, an armed group attacked the local headquarters of Hatif Libya Telecommunications and cut communications to large parts of the south, east and west of the country. A source from the company has told the Libya Herald that he and his colleagues could not understand why this had been done.

“They have switched off all equipment and the only lines working now are those not connected to this station,” he said.

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