By Sami Zaptia.
London, 23 July 2021:
Libya’s Interior Ministry said today that it is investigating yesterday’s central Tripoli militia clashes.
In the Libyan government’s first comment on the clashes, the Ministry admitted that there was ‘‘heavy shooting’’.
It also confirmed that the clashes were between the state-recognized Rada (Deterrence) militia led by Abdel Rauf Kara and the state-recognized Stabilization Support militia led by Addel Ghani Al-Kikli Ghnewa.
The Ministry made no comment about Libyan media reports of the death of a youth caught in the crossfire. The clashes were reported to have lasted for a few hours stretching from the Sidi Al-Masri area to the Prime Minister’s Office in Sikka road.
Even in its statement, the Libyan government made little effort to hide the fact that it was a spectator in the incident that took place on the third day of Eid Al-Adha.
In its statement, the Ministry of Interior said it ‘‘closely followed the events that took place yesterday evening, Thursday 22-7-2021, which led to heavy shooting in the centre of the capital, Tripoli, between patrols of the Stabilization Support Agency (Kikli-Ghnewa) and the Deterrence Agency to Combat Terrorism and Organized crime (Kara).
Subsequently, the Minister of Interior in charge, Bashir Al-Amin, instructed the competent authorities to follow up on the reports and take the necessary procedures for inference and investigation of these facts, stressing that all parties work in accordance with the correct law.
The Ministry also reassures the citizens that the security situation is stable, and the conflict has been dismantled, and investigations are still continuing on the course of these events to ensure that they do not recur.’’
Meanwhile, the media office of Operation Volcano of Rage, the operations room set up to coordinate the war effort against the Khalifa Hafter attack on Tripoli, said that the clash was that one militia ‘‘fired intensively while a patrol of the Deterrence passed by.’’
It said ‘‘It was dealt with by Deterrence’’ and there was ‘‘ an arrest of an element and an armed car’’, and that all the other circulating ‘‘malicious rumours were true.”