By Houda Mzioudet.
Tripoli 12 December, 2013:
Calm returned today to Sirte after yesterday’s communal clashes which left two dead and four others . . .[restrict]injured. The clashes erupted in the Jiza Bahriya district between young Misratis living in Sirte and members of the Qadhadhfa tribe. There has been long-standing hostility between the two communities since before the revolution.
“Initially, it was a family feud but then it escalated into armed clashes between men from the two groups,” a member of Sirte Local Council who did not want to be named told the Libya Herald. Heavy weapons were used during the clashes and the road to Jiza Bahriya was closed for over 15 hours, he added.
The two dead young men, one a Misrati the other a Qadhadhfi, have been named as Rajab Sghaier Triya and Mohamed Omar Abdu. The wounded were taken to Ibn Sina Hospital, with one of them said to be in a critical condition.
Attempts at pacifying the factions were initiated yesterday by Sirte Council of Elders as well as a number of local civil society organisations.
“They made huge progress in their initiative,” the Sirte Local Council member said. He also credited Ansar al-Sharia in Sirte with attempts at containing the violence.
Meanwhile, Sirte’s newly appointed military commander, Abdulmajid Zeidan, visited the town today and met with the local council and elders of the town to discuss local security.
Sirte has seen a spate of violence in recent months, including the murders of a number of leading officials, the most recent being that of passports officer Colonel Ramadan Al-Tarooq three days ago. [/restrict]