A gun battle in the Libyan capital Tripoli, on Friday 10/14/2011,erupted between forces loyal to the transitional government -NTC and gunmen they say support fugitive ex-leader Col Muammar Gaddafi. The fighting started after a demonstration by Gaddafi loyalists.
It was the first serious confrontation in Tripoli since the city fell to the forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC) in August. Although the gun battle has finished, NTC forces are carrying out an operation to root out Gaddafi loyalists from the Abu Salim district at the centre of the disturbance.
The BBC’s Caroline Hawley, in Tripoli, says there are reports that the green flag of the Gaddafi government was raised in other towns as well while the battle on Gaddafi’s strongholds in Sirte, on the Mediterranean, and Bani Walid, in the Sahara is raging on for more than a month.
An eyewitness said the green flag was also raised in the Daraa area of Tripoli, where a small group of Gaddafi supporters were on the street. NTC forces cordoned off the area, fired warning shots and stopped cars to search them. However, the witness did not see anyone being detained.
The gun battle in Tripoli is likely to rattle the transitional authorities of the NTC, who are trying to exert control in the midst of a political and security vacuum.
There are also reports that Gaddafi loyalists have appeared on Libya’s western border with Tunisia, where they have apparently attacked cars.
Initially NATO forces were involved in Libya, allegedly, to protect civilian life. Practically they took side with the NTC against Gaddafi, paved the way for the Rebels forces to Tripoli by constant usage of air power and bombardments, in which, according to some reports, about 700 Libyan civilians were killed not included the recent civilians killed in besieged Sirte by the Aerial support of NATO to NTC (see – The Libyan-Campaign).
On Thursday 10/13/2011, a London-based rights group said it had uncovered evidence of torture and ill-treatment of thousands of people detained in recent months by NTC. Eventually the Libyan rebels are no different from Gaddafi supporters in their basic values only that they carry out their abuses with NATO support and under NATO umbrella.
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