Calm returns to Tripoli following armed clashes
Calm returned to the Salah Eddine area in southern Tripoli on Friday, following violent clashes between security and military formations.
The clashes erupted between the Stability Support Agency on one side and the 444th Brigade on the other, as the confrontation became focused in the vicinity of Al-Tikbali camp, being the headquarters of the 444th Brigade.
The 444th Brigade said one of its commanders was killed in the attack while the Stability Support Agency declined to reveal its casualties.
Military sources said that clashes erupted following an attempt by members of the Stability Support Agency to storm Al-Tikbali camp, taking advantage of the deployment of several armed units of the 444th Brigade in the city of Tarhuna. The raid on the camp was failed and a group of fighters for Stability Support Agency were detained when the armed units rushed back to their camp.
In a video broadcast after the end of the clashes, the Commander of the Tripoli Military District, Abdel Basset Marwan, the mastermind of the attack on Al-Tikbali camp, said that "it was a correction of the 444th Brigade due to its failure to comply with direct military orders, in addition to the attendance of prohibited meetings", accusing the 444th Brigade of "embezzling 10 million dinars."
A source from the 444th Brigade denied the accusations of Marwan and stated that their forces were taken by surprise by an armed attack on its headquarters, saying that they managed to repel the attack. He added that the 10 million dinars in question were spent by the Ministry of Defence through legal means.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), expressed deep concern regarding the armed clashes and indiscriminate shooting in the Salah Eddine area, calling for immediate calm and cessation of hostilities. It also called for the exercise of total restraint, reminding all sides of their sworn obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of all civilians and public and private facilities.
UNSMIL called on the relevant authorities to take grasp of their official responsibilities in ensuring protection of civilians, through controlling their units in accordance with Security Council Resolutions, through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration within the security section reform with the aim of bringing all weapons under the control of the state.