By Jamal Adel and Taziz Hasairi.
Tripoli, 19 January 2014:
Sebha officials said that violence in the southern city continued today as Tebu . . .[restrict]gunmen fired mortars into the city in ongoing clashes with the army.
Despite media reports that violence was subsiding in Sebha, sources on the ground told the Libya Herald that fighting has remained at a constant, although no casualties were reported today.
Head of Sebha Local Council, Ayoub Al-Zaroug, told this newspaper that there had been frequent mortar fire by Tebu militants from the Jabal Arif Gate on the northern edge of the town.
Social affairs coordinator for Sebha Local Council, Zahra Ahmed Dazi, said: “The situation is much the same, no matter what the government is trying to prove, we are still going through challenging times”.
As military leaders in Sebha pledged not to negotiate with the gunmen, fighting looked set to become more entrenched. Sebha’s Military Commander, Mohammed Al-Ayat Al-Busaif, said that the army was unwilling to compromise or negotiate.
Tebu militants have been clashing with the army forces in Sebha since Friday when tribal fighting restarted following a brief truce. Yesterday, Qaddafi loyalists used the spreading instability in the region to gain a foothold at the nearby Tamenhint airbase which they relinquished this morning.
Mohammed Al-Mubasher, a member of the Zintani delegation which arrived in Sebha on Wednesday to try to broker a ceasefire, said that groups previously in Tamenhint had relocated with a large convoy to the road between Barak Shati and Sebha. He called on all revolutionaries to reassert their efforts. [/restrict]