Tripoli, 29 June:
After a day of intense fighting in Kufra on Thursday between government troops and Tebu fighters in which 15 . . .[restrict]people were reportedly killed, the southeastern oasis town is said to be once again relatively quite today, Friday, with only one death so far.
A Tebu spokesman claimed that a woman had been killed in the Tebu neighborhood Qarah Tebu early in this morning by a sniper. She was named as Edigora Ali Lameen, aged 52.
Yesterday’s clashes were among the most bloody since the latest cycle of fighting between Libya Shield forces and Tebus resumed on 9 June. According to a local correspondent from Tadamon News Agency, five members of the Shield forces struggling to pacify the town were killed on Thursday and another 22 wounded when Tebu forces attacked them with heavy artillery. The wounded were airlifted to Benghazi.
Tebu sources counter claim, saying that 10 Tebus were killed yesterday and over 40 residents were wounded, among of them women and children, when Qarah Tebu was shelled.
They also claim that that members of Kufra’s majority Zway tribe were fighting alongside the Shield forces.
If true, that would be a significant development.
The present conflict originally broke out in February between Tebus and Zway tribesmen over smuggling rivalries. However, it quickly turned into a bitter struggle between Tebus and Shield forces when the latter were sent to the town to impose order. The Zway have been largely uninvolved since then. Moreover, there are areas of the town where Zway and Tebus live peacefully together. The last thing it needs is a general conflict between Zway and Tebu.
On Monday, troops from the army as well as from revolutionary brigades under the orders of the Defence Ministry arrived in Kufra, but they have not yet been deployed according to Tadamon.
One of the Tebu demands has been that the Shield forces should quit the town and be replaced by the army. [/restrict]