Tripoli, 16 June:
Government forces have been deployed to the Nafusa Mountains in a bid to put an end to clashes there. . . .[restrict]Fighting has been ongoing between militia from Zintan and members of the Mashasha tribe since Monday.
Earlier today, Saturday, the government also called for a ceasefire between the warring factions, which thus far claimed the lives of at least 16 people, and left a further 89 wounded.
The fighting began when the Mashasha killed a Zintani brigadesmen at a checkpoint they had erected on the road to Sebha. Clashes continued the following day, drawing in forces from other neighbouring towns.
Tension has been high between the Mashasha and the Zintanis ever since last year’s revolution which overthrew the regime of Muammar Qaddafi. The Zintanis joined the revolution shortly after it began last February, whilst the Mashasha chose to support Qaddafi. Fighting between the two groups also took place last December, when at least four people were killed.
Haramain Mohammed Haramain, one of Libya’s deputy prime ministers, told reporters that the interim government, the NTC and religious leaders were all calling for a ceasefire.
He added that the area had now been declared a military zone, and that the government had issued instructions to the interior ministry and the chief of the staff, General Yousef Mangoush, to use force if the ceasefire was not respected. [/restrict]