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Libya: 147 killed in 6 days of clashes in south

Last Updated: Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 09:27

Tripoli: Six days of tribal clashes in a remote desert town in southern Libya have killed 147 people, the country`s Health Minister said on Saturday.

Fatima al-Hamroush said in a press conference in Tripoli that the fighting in Sabha has also left 395 wounded. Around 180 people have been transported to the capital Tripoli for emergency treatment, she said.

The clashes in the oasis region some 400 miles (650 kilometres) south of Tripoli show the fragile authority of the Libyan government, particularly in the isolated settlements that dot the southern desert.

With only a nascent national Army and police force, Libya`s ruling National Transitional Council relies on militias comprised of former rebels to keep the peace, and the country`s vast distances makes it difficult to deploy them to trouble spots.

Tripoli: Six days of tribal clashes in a remote desert town in southern Libya have killed 147 people, the country`s Health Minister said on Saturday.

Fatima al-Hamroush said in a press conference in Tripoli that the fighting in Sabha has also left 395 wounded. Around 180 people have been transported to the capital Tripoli for emergency treatment, she said.

The clashes in the oasis region some 400 miles (650 kilometres) south of Tripoli show the fragile authority of the Libyan government, particularly in the isolated settlements that dot the southern desert.

With only a nascent national Army and police force, Libya`s ruling National Transitional Council relies on militias comprised of former rebels to keep the peace, and the country`s vast distances makes it difficult to deploy them to trouble spots.

Adam Ahmed Saeedi, 12, was also being treated in a Tripoli hospital after he was injured fleeing with his family.

"I fell off the back of the pickup truck as we were trying to escape. They attacked our neighbourhood inside of Sabha, and we managed to get out in time," Saeedi said.

Libya`s Tabu have kinsmen living across the border in Chad, and the Defence Ministry said on Saturday that it sent a number of militiamen and national Army soldiers to the country`s southern border in case other African tribes try to join the fight. It also dispatched airplanes to survey the area.

Other militiamen as well as tribal chiefs from around Libya were dispatched to Sabha over the past few days. On Thursday they said they brokered a ceasefire that residents say has held in the city, but not outside.

Lino said that fighting continues just south of Sabha. He said he travelled to Tripoli on Saturday to meet with a number of Cabinet ministers to try and resolve the crisis.

Other Tabu leaders, frustrated with the slow pace of government action, say that Tripoli`s leaders have not protected them against attacks from Arab tribes in Sabha.

The government said it is trying to move relief supplies to the area. Health Minister al-Hamroush said that Tripoli has sent large amounts of emergency aid to the city, but that there is still an urgent need for medical supplies.

A UN team in Libya says they have also assisted with aid, including additional medical kits.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 09:27

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