The municipality of the southern Libyan city Ghat and its so-called social council of tribes had a rift over a forthcoming visit by an Italian delegation to the city.

"All those in Ghat who receive the Italian delegation are traitors and reckless." The social council of Ghat tribes, which is loyal to the ex-regime in Libya, said in a statement.

It considered the visit by the Italians paving the way for setting up a military base in the southern region, accusing the municipality of losing the country its sovereignty.

The municipality, on the other hand, denounced the council's statement saying it represents none of Ghat residents.

"Italy's delegation visit comes within the scope of implementing the Libya-Italy Friendship Agreement signed on August 30, 2008, by which Italy should do development projects and help monitor Libya's south, including Ghat." The municipality said, welcoming the delegation and rejecting the "reckless-traitors" accusations of the social council.

"Any violations to be done during the upcoming visit of the Italian delegation will be blamed on the social council of tribes, especially after their "provocative statement," explained the municipality.

Meanwhile, gunmen loyal to the Gaddafi regime took control of Ghat's airport as per the orders of the social council of Ghat tribes, saying they won't allow the Italian delegation's plane to touch down.