Fighting between Misrata and Zliten forces closes coastal road

By Moutaz Ali.

Sand blocks at the coastal road in Zliten

Sand blocks on the coastal road at Zliten (Photo: Social media)

Tripoli, 20 February 2017:

The coast road between Tripoli and Misrata has been blocked following the outbreak of clashes today east of Zliten (160 kilometres east of Tripoli). The fighting, between militias from the town and Misrata, reportedly resulted in two people killed and three injured.

The Misratans are said to be from the Al-Mahjoub brigade, one of Misrata’s most powerful militias and which formed part of the Bunyan Marsous operations is Sirte. The other militia is the Zliten Joint Security Room, a relatively new group tasked with keeping security in the municipality.

The clashes happened in Suq Al-Thulatha, six kilometres east of Zliten and on the border with Misrata municipality.

Locals from Zliten have accused the Misratans of attacking the Security Room because it had earlier arrested an undisclosed number of Al-Mahjoub brigade fighters. Both sides used to be allies until recently.

Abdulsalam Faturi, a local from Zliten, told the Libya Herald that one of those killed was known to him personally, naming him as Fowzi Al-Koum.

“Because of fears of a larger attack by the Misratans against the town, local people have blocked the coastal road before Dafynia area with sand bags,” he added.

There is still tension in the area and further clashes are expected.

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