Libya: Armed clashes in a southern city

Armed clashes on Monday night between local police forces and a group affiliated with Khalifa Haftar, the strongman of eastern Libya, left one dead and two wounded in southern Libya, according to a hospital source.

“Armed with tanks and heavy artillery, a militia under the command of Mabrouk Sahbane of the al-Karama forces (the name of the military operation launched in 2014 by Marshal Haftar, who controls the east and part of the south of the country) seized 11 all-terrain vehicles intended for the police at gunpoint,” said in a statement the Directorate of Security in Sebha, where the clashes took place.

The group, which depends on Haftar’s forces, “forced the convoy to head to the Brak airbase” further south. Photos and videos released by local media showed heavy gunfire in the center of Sebha on Tuesday before dawn. The Sebha Security Directorate condemned the incidents, which it said were aimed at “destabilizing Fezzan,” the southern Libyan province.

“One dead and two wounded arrived last night at the emergency department following the incidents in the city,” the Sebha Medical Center said Tuesday in a brief statement posted on Facebook.

According to media reports, schools and public services were closed Tuesday throughout the city.

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