Fighting flares in tribal dispute south of Tripoli

December 12, 2011 19:21

WAMIS - Rival militias in an area south-west of the Libyan capital exchanged heavy gunfire on Monday after a dispute flared up between them that local residents said had killed at least four people over the past 48 hours.

Reuters journalists in Wamis, about 190 km from Tripoli, said the fighting was between members of the El-Mashasha tribe, based around the town, and fighters from the larger town of Zintan in the mountains to the north.

Shots, including from machine guns, could be heard and all men and boys in Wamis were carrying Kalashnikov rifles, they said.

The Reuters journalists were shown a school and a mosque which had been hit by artillery or rocket fire, and also saw evidence of shells or rockets landing between houses in a residential area.

Residents said three people had been killed in attacks on the town by fighters from Zintan.

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