Skip to main content

Militias clash in Tripoli after commander's death

By Jomana Karadsheh, CNN
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 1350 GMT (2150 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: At least two people killed, security officials say
  • Nuri Fairwan, a commander of a Misrata militia, died of injuries he suffered Tuesday
  • Fairwan was hurt when a checkpoint dispute escalated to violence
  • The fighting is some of the most intense in Tripoli since the fall of Gadhafi in 2011

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Gun battles between rival militias raged in several parts of the Libyan capital on Thursday night with no immediate reports of casualties.

The sound of anti-aircraft gunfire and blasts echoed across Tripoli in one of the most intense incidents of militia infighting in the city since the fall of the Moammar Gadhafi regime two years ago.

At least two people were killed and at least 29 were injured Thursday night, according to the state news agency LANA, citing security officials in the Libyan capital.

The clashes, between a militia from the city of Misrata and Tripoli militiamen, broke out after a Misrata militia commander died as a result of injuries he suffered on Tuesday. Commander Nuri Fairwan was injured Tuesday in fighting between the two militias that began with a dispute at a Tripoli checkpoint and escalated.

Witnesses in parts of the capital affected by the clashes said residential buildings and a five-star hotel were hit by the gunfire.

Tripoli's Radisson Blu Al Mahary Hotel, which houses Western diplomats and is frequented by journalists and business guests, was hit by several rounds of anti-aircraft gunfire, which caused some damage including shattered glass windows.

Hotel staff and guests were led to the basement during the heavy fighting in the vicinity.

Libya's big power play yet to come

More than two years after the end of Libya's civil war, the country remains awash in weapons and militias with competing interests.

Many Libyans are concerned about the deteriorating security situation in the country and the increasing power of militias who continue to operate freely.

The weakness of Libya's central government and its inability to build an army and police force was underscored last month with the kidnapping of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan by a militia in Tripoli, which seized him for a few hours before another militia released him.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 12, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
Tichleman 1
A makeup artist, writer and model who loves monkeys and struggles with demons.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Lionel Messi's ability is not in question -- but will the World Cup final allow him to emerge from another footballing legend's shadow?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1029 GMT (1829 HKT)
Why are Iraqi politicians dragging their feet while ISIS militants fortify their foothold across the country?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
An elephant, who was chained for 50 years, cries tears of joy after being freed in India. CNN's Sumnima Udas reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 0732 GMT (1532 HKT)
Beneath a dusty town in northeastern Pakistan, CNN explores a cold labyrinth of hidden tunnels that was once a safe haven for militants.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
CNN's Ravi Agrawal asks whether Narendra Modi can harness the country's potential to finally deliver growth.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 0444 GMT (1244 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wedeman visits the Yazji family and finds out what it's like living life in the middle of conflict.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Israel has deployed its Iron Dome defense system to halt incoming rockets. Here's how it works.
Even those who aren't in the line of fire feel the effects of the chaos that has engulfed Iraq since extremists attacked.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
People walk with their luggage at the Maiquetia international airport that serves Caracas on July 3, 2014. A survey by pollster Datanalisis revealed that 25% of the population surveyed (end of May) has at least one family member or friend who has emigrated from the country. AFP PHOTO/Leo RAMIREZ (Photo credit should read LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Plane passengers are used to paying additional fees, but one airport in Venezuela is now charging for the ultimate hidden extra -- air.
ADVERTISEMENT