Fresh fighting in Gasr Ben Ghashir

By Libya Herald reporter.

Tripoli, 4 October 2017:

Fighting erupted this evening near Gasr Ben Ghashir, next to Tripoli International Airport, between units mainly belonging to Tripoli strongman Haithem Tajouri and forces from Tarhouna.

There has been considerable confusion as precisely who the latter are. Local reports say that they are members of the Islamist-leaning Marghani brigade led by Salah Al-Marghani and his nephew Sharif. However, some reports claim they are now Qaddafi supporters and support the Libyan National Army.

There are also reports of Tarhouna’s notorious Kani Brigade being involved, but this time not with Marghani but with Tajouri. They are said to have created a new and unexpected alliance with him against their erstwhile Marghani allies.

They were part of Libya Dawn and have, until now, supported the would-be government of Khalifa Ghwell.

The Tripoli forces are said to also include fighters under the control of Tajouri’s ally Abdulghani Al-Kikli (Ghneiwa).

The reason for the clashes is also less than clear. Local reports say that Tajouri had launched a pre-emptive attack after being told that the Tarhouna forces were rallying to move against the capital. Manoeuvres allegedly involving pro-LNA and pro-Qaddafi forces in the area near the airport have been reported over the past fortnight. Tajouri himself said the same last month, adding that he was keeping a close eye on the area.

By late evening it was reported that the Marghani forces had fled towards the Wirshefana area.

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