Tribal fighting erupts south of Libyan capital

Updated 12 June 2012
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Tribal fighting erupts south of Libyan capital

TRIPOLI: Rival militias fought each other with heavy weapons southwest of the Libyan capital on Tuesday and two people were killed, in fresh evidence of the divisions in Libya’s society 10 months after an uprising ended Muammar Qaddafi’s rule.
Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council, and its Western backers, are hoping that tribal violence does not jeopardize a July 7 election to choose a national assembly.
The clashes were between fighters from the town of Zintan, who played a big role in ousting Qaddafi, and members of the El-Mashasha tribe, which chose not to join the rebellion, security officials said.
Resentment between the two groups spilled over into fighting in December last year in which at least four people were killed, and erupted again this week when a Zintan fighter was shot dead.
Zintan’s militias blamed El-Mashasha tribe and retaliated, leading to clashes that started on Monday and continued into Tuesday, said several members of the tribe contacted by Reuters.
One of them, Mohammed Salem, said the Zintan fighters were firing Russian-made Grad rockets at El-Mashasha positions, though this could not be confirmed.
An administrator at the hospital in nearby Gharyan, Omar Akiz, told Reuters: “Two bodies have been brought it from Shgega, they haven’t been identified. We have six injured.”
A delegation from the Interior Ministry in Tripoli, headed by deputy minister Omar Al-Khadrawi, was on its way to the scene to try to negotiate a cease-fire.
“There is still tension ... and efforts are still being deployed to contain the situation,” Khadrawi told Reuters.
Outside Zintan, which is about 50 km north of where the clashes were taking place, local fighters blocked the road and said they had been given orders not to let anyone enter, according to a Reuters reporter trying to reach the town.
Qaddafi’s repressive rule kept in check the deep-running animosities in Libyan society, which often pitted villages, cities or tribes against their neighbors.
When Qaddafi was forced from power and later killed, old feuds re-surfaced. The situation was made more volatile because the country was awash with weapons looted from Qaddafi’s arsenals and the new authorities were too weak to intervene.
Another tribal conflict has flared in the town of Al Kufra near the borders with Chad and Sudan. On Sunday, 13 people were killed in fighting there between the Tibu and Zwai tribes.


Firefighters tackle blaze in high-rise tower in Dubai

Updated 22 April 2018
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Firefighters tackle blaze in high-rise tower in Dubai

DUBAI: A fire broke out Sunday at a prominent skyscraper in Dubai, sending smoke billowing from its roof and those inside fleeing into the streets.
Firefighters and police on the scene of the blaze at the Almas Tower in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lake Towers neighborhood.
The government’s Dubai Media Office described the blaze as a “minor fire.”
“All employees and visitors are being evacuated and no injuries have been reported so far,” the Dubai Media Office wrote on Twitter.


The Almas Tower, over 60 stories tall, is home to the Dubai Multi Commodities Center, which is also an economic free zone. The DMCC had hosted a conference earlier Sunday in partnership with Asia House called “The New Global Trade Order.”
The DMCC did not immediately answer a request for comment.

It was the tallest building in Dubai, until 2009, when it was surpassed by Burj Khalifa. It is primarily an office building and remains the tallest building at the Jumeirah Lakes Towers cluster off Dubai’s Shaikh Zayed Road.
Dubai, a skyscraper-studded city in the United Arab Emirates, has suffered a spate of fires in its high-rises.
Dubai passed new fire safety rules last year requiring that quick-burning side paneling on buildings be replaced with more fire-resistant cladding. Authorities have previously acknowledged that at least 30,000 buildings across the UAE have cladding or paneling that safety experts have said accelerates the rapid spread of fires.