Tripoli clashes leave 115 dead, 383 injured- health ministry

Armed forces allied to internationally recognised government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 23 September 2018

Tripoli clashes leave 115 dead, 383 injured- health ministry

  • Tripoli and western Libya are run by a UN-backed government mainly supported by armed groups
  • The Kaniyat and other groups from outside Tripoli launched an assault on the capital in late August

TRIPOLI: At least 115 people have been killed and 383 injured in month-long clashes between rival factions in Tripoli, Libya’s health ministry said on Sunday.
The fighting pitted the Seventh Brigade, or Kaniyat, from Tarhouna, a town 65 km (45 miles) southeast of Tripoli, against the Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigades (TRB) and the Nawasi, two of the capital’s largest armed groups.
Tripoli and western Libya are run by a UN-backed government mainly supported by armed groups, while Eastern Libya is controlled by a rival administration. The country has been riven since Muammar Qaddafi was toppled in 2011.
The Kaniyat and other groups from outside Tripoli launched an assault on the capital in late August amid unease over reports of the wealth, power and extravagant lifestyles of some Tripoli militia commanders.
At the Frontline in Tripoli’s southern residential areas of Wadi Rabea and Fatma Zahra, shelled houses, torched vehicles, destroyed shops and deserted streets attest to the intensity of the clashes.
“The death toll could surge because of the critical condition of the injured and the continuing fighting,” Wedad Abo Al-Niran, media officer at the health ministry told Reuters.
The armed groups which claim official status through the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli patrol the area in armored vehicles and pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns.
The fighting has knocked out most power stations in the city and crippled Tripoli’s main airport.
Although civilian targets continue to be shelled, Hakeem Al-Sheikh, commander of 42 Brigade loyal to GNA, said “the situation is under control.”
Meanwhile residents in southern Tripoli continue to bear the brunt of the infighting, with many forced to flee their homes.
“We are staying with our relatives as we are afraid of looting acts,” said Abdulqader Al-Ryani, a father of three who left everything behind when he left his house.
So far, calls by the GNA for all sides to uphold a cease-fire agreed on Sept. 4 have fallen on deaf ears.
Adding to the existing tensions, a coalition of armed groups including Misrata military council promised on Saturday to fight alongside Tarhouna’s Seventh Brigade saying that they “reject the rule of militias inside Tripoli.”


Bashir defense asks Sudan court for bail release

Updated 24 August 2019

Bashir defense asks Sudan court for bail release

  • Bashir, wearing a traditional white gown, sat in the same metal cage he appeared in on Monday when his trial on graft charges opened
  • The former Sudanese leader is also wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague over his role in mass killings in the western region of Darfur

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s deposed military ruler Omar Al-Bashir appeared in court Saturday for the second hearing of his corruption trial, during which his defense asked for his release on bail.
Bashir, wearing a traditional white gown, sat in the same metal cage he appeared in on Monday when his trial on graft charges opened.
The judge in Khartoum Saturday heard three witnesses, two of them investigators who searched Bashir’s residency after his ouster and the other a banker.
“We ask the court to release the accused on bail,” Bashir’s lawyer Hashem Abu Bakr said, to which the judge answered he would examine a written request.
After the hearing, as a massive security convoy escorted the 75-year-old Bashir back to prison, two opposing groups of demonstrators had gathered.
One group of a few dozen protesters were chanting slogans for Bashir to face justice not just over corruption but for his role in the the country’s deadly conflicts.
“Bashir is a killer” and “He has to face justice,” chanted some of the demonstrators.
Another smaller group had turned out in support of the deposed Islamist general, who was forced from power by relentless protests in April after 30 years in power.
While the sight of Bashir sitting inside a cage in a courtroom was unthinkable only months ago, many in Sudan and abroad have warned that this trial should not distract from the more serious indictments he faces.
The former Sudanese leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague over his role in mass killings in the western region of Darfur.