By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 20 August 2014:
More shells landed on various central residential parts of Tripoli overnight as fighting continued into its . . .[restrict]fifth week between the two blocs of warring militias.
This is the second night where shells have fallen on central residential areas in Tripoli, following falls on Hay Andulous and the Chiesa (church) district of Hadba the previous night.
A pattern is now emerging whereby shelling seems to commence at around sunset and continue deep into the night and into the early morning.
It is assumed that this isolated, but increasingly heavy, are indiscriminate firing. However, more and more, Tripolitanians now believe that these salvoes are deliberate – part of a coordinated effort into frightening and forcing the capital into some sort of compromise at the negotiation table.
There is no clear cut evidence of who is responsible for firing these shells.
There are reports of shells falling on Sikka Street where the Prime Minister’s office is located, at the other Ben Ghasheer/Sidi Masri roundabout end, where the unfinished apartment blocks are. No injuries or deaths have been reported.
There were also reports of shells falling in Sayidi Street at the former military intelligence building which opens on Zawia street too. Reports have also come in of shells falling in the Sidi Khalifa/Zawia Street area, not far from burns unit of the hospital.
Sources at the Sidi Khalifa area told Libya Herald that the sound of falling shells at night in an around the area, caused much fear and panic amongst some residents there.
A shell was also reported to have fallen in Soor Street, hitting a building beside the main Post and Telecoms building. There have been reports that this shelling, falling in central Tripoli, originate from the Al-Hadba Agricultural (pivot irrigation crop circles) project, located east of airport road.
Other sources indicate the shells came from the Bu-Sleem rubbish dump. It has not been possible to verify this, however, the sound of fire could be heard by Libya Herald in Hay Demashque.
Unconfirmed reports have also come in of shells falling further out on Sirraj, Al Jibs Gate and the (still being constructed) Third Ring Road and (the wholesale) Samba road in Kremia.
No major casualties or deaths have been reported.
Intermittent daily power and internet cuts continue. Petrol queues continue too, but have improved. Petrol customers can realistically expect to fill up their tank within three hours. Although most shops still do not stock bread, as had been the case prior to Tripoli’s crises, bread is available in bakeries for those who can get to a bakery.
There have been sounds of explosions today, too, but these seem to be in the distance – either at the Airport, Airport Road or Sirraj.
There are also unconfirmed reports of major damage being inflicted as a result of fire on the km 27 bridge on the main coastal road out of Tripoli on the way to Zawia. The military barracks there has been the subject of persistent clashes and has changed hands on a number of times.
This strategic check point and intersection at km 27 offers an alternate route from the coastal road both into Tripoli, and to circumvent Tripoli through its western periphery of Zahra and through its southern periphery, linking to Airport road, Gaser Ben Ghasheer, Wadi Rabea and beyond to the eastern periphery of Tripoli – and beyond that – linking up to the coastal road again. [/restrict]