By Abdullah Ben Ibrahim
A heavily armed brigade from Tarhuna city, known as Kani Brigade, took control on Sunday of Garabulli (Castelverde) town, some 70 km east of Tripoli, and forced the Presidential Council brigades stationed in two checkpoints out of the town.
Local residents said Kani Brigade launched a surprise attack on the town early in the day after two of its members were kidnapped by a gunman from Garabulli named “Saddam” a day before. One of the captives was released and the other was reportedly killed, which ignited the tensions.
Mediation efforts have so far failed to calm the tensions.
Eyewitnesses said Kani Brigade deployed armored vehicles and heavy weapons in the town and engaged in intermittent exchange of fire with one of the brigades that withdrew from the town, causing some damage to power transmission lines. The General Electricity Company announced a load shedding in Tripoli as a result.
Garabulli Municipality demanded Kani Brigade to leave the town immediately, warning that situations in the town would deteriorate if the demand was not met.
Garabulli was under control of a group of Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade and another loyal brigade from Tajoura led by a man called Al-Khabash.
A coalition of Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade and Addaman Brigade from Tajoura drove Misrata brigades out of the town in July 2017 after three days of fierce clashes.
Background: Tripoli brigades announce victory in Garabulli in July 2017
A coalition of Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade and Addaman Brigade from Tajoura declared on Tuesday full control of Garabulli town, some 70 km east of Tripoli, after 3 days of fierce clashes against Salvation Government brigades from Misrata.
Heavy fighting broke out in the afternoon after mediation efforts exerted by Tajoura Municipal Council failed to urge Misrata brigades to withdraw.
Casualties among both sides were reported, but the number is yet to be officially declared.
Local residents said the heavy artillery fire echoed in the rural town for hours before the declaration of victory. They added that Misrata brigades have withdrawn to the east side of the town, but it’s not known whether they will launch a counter attack or pull back to their city.
The Health Ministry said the clashes in the past two days have led to 4 deaths and 21 injuries. It explained that 3 deaths and 6 injuries took place on Sunday, 2 of whom were foreign workers, while 1 person was killed on Monday and 15 others were injured.