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Militia and Gaddafi loyalists clash outside Tripoli

Published time: March 18, 2012 14:38
Edited time: March 18, 2012 20:01
Still frame from a video uploaded to Twitter by user Libynprincess featuring clashes in Abu Salim on March 18, 2012

Still frame from a video uploaded to Twitter by user Libynprincess featuring clashes in Abu Salim on March 18, 2012

At least one person was killed outside Tripoli in a fight between a powerful militia group from Zintan and local residents loyal to slain leader Muammar Gaddafi, reports the Associated Press.

­The two sides are continuing to exchange automatic rifle fire in the Tripoli neighborhood of Abu Salim, a pro-Gaddafi stronghold, says Zintan militia commander Mohammed el-Rebay. The one person reported dead was a member of his group.

The well-equipped fighters from Zintan, a province in Libya’s western mountains, took over a school in the capital and turned it into a military base after Tripoli fell in August 2011. The Zintan militia remains one of the numerous Libyan groups operating outside of the new government’s control.

Post-revolutionary Libya is still striving for peace.

On Friday, the cradle of the anti-Gaddafi uprising, Benghazi, witnessed clashes between pro-federalism supporters and its opponents. Hundreds demonstrated in favor of splitting the country into three self-governing regions, which sparked fury with the supporters of the ruling National Transitional Council. Conflicting reports suggest at least one person was killed in the clashes, as the sides took up guns, knives and rocks against each other.

The new wave of protests comes after Cyrenaica, the eastern region of Libya, elected a regional congress and declared semi-autonomy from the capital of Tripoli on March 6. This prompted concerns the country might break up.