Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Clashes in Tripoli: Loyalist Uprisings

October 16, 2011
Last edits Dec. 12

To start with, I've read reports around, unproven, most of it perhaps nothing but rumors, that armed resistance agaisnt TNC rule continued in Tripoli. There is video evidence of at least those rebels manning road blocks being killed by loyalist snipers, for example (Dec. 12 - scratch that. The same scene was filmed in this video "the fight isn't over" was filmed back on August 21 or 22, as the battle was just about over). Sites like Libya S.O.S. have been running a series of updates (Dec. 11's installation), with little or no verification, chronicling Green (loyalist) victories nationwide, as the NTC drop like flies to assassin's bullets. But until the other day there's been nothing that was undeniable enough the mainstream media had to acknowledge it as news, as what they all call the first violence since the initial conquest.

This time, the violent resistance was preceded, as the NATO rebels' once was, by speech (raising the green flag). It occurred in broad daylight in the streets of the capitol and was darn near filmed (was it, directly?). And this time the perpetrators neither won nor ran off afterwards, and they gained two more martyrs who, for once again in the capitol, died on their feet. So clearly, this is a different phenomenon.

Myself, I wouldn't mind seeing the same thing but larger and with no guns. How do the authorities of "liberated Libya" deal with the people just expressing themselves?

I start with two articles from a mainstream news search, a third article, and then invite comments until I go looking deeper.

Reuters: Libyan government steps up security after clashes in capital - bolding mine.
Libya's new government increased security in Tripoli Saturday with extra roadblocks and house-to-house searches after fighting in the capital with supporters of Muammar Gaddafi raised fears of another insurgency.

At most a few dozen pro-Gaddafi fighters appeared Friday in only a few neighborhoods of the Libyan capital that are known to be sympathetic to the deposed ruler.
Residents said fighting broke out when a group of up to 50 armed men had appeared in Abu Salim, a repository of pro-Gaddafi sentiment, Friday and at least one other nearby neighborhood and chanted pro-Gaddafi slogans.

Hundreds of NTC fighters in pick-up trucks shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) raced into Abu Salim and the two sides exchanged rifle and heavy machinegun fire.
They're searching, finding some guns, and "pick-up trucks with heavy weapons were stationed inside the district, firing occasional volleys over the houses to make their presence felt." Always over the houses? They're getting more subtle as they mature into a government. Or in this case, into a tacitly allowed terrorit militia to intimaidate the people into subservience.

Further, this articlegives the death toll as three: two Gaddafi supporters and one NTC fighter, citing "NTC official Abdel Razak al Oraidi," during a news conference.

Associated Press: Libyan fighters fan out in Tripoli to clear areas of armed Gadhafi supporters after gunbattle
Libyan fighters fanned out in Tripoli neighborhoods Saturday to search for armed supporters of fugitive leader Moammar Gadhafi a day after a major gunbattle rocked the capital for the first time in two months.
Revealing serious divisions within the revolutionary ranks, Saturday’s sweep of Abu Salim was being conducted mainly by a breakaway militia that refuses to answer to the main Tripoli military council.

It is one of many factions that have refused to put themselves under the umbrella of official revolutionary authorities, raising fears of vigilante justice as the North African nation faces continued fighting by loyalists of the fugitive leader.
Abdullah Naker, the head of the so-called revolutionary council, called on all anti-Gadhafi forces to join them in the search and warned his men will fight anybody who gets in their way.

“All of Tripoli will be searched and we will reorganize our checkpoints and our guards in public and private institutions inside of Tripoli and outside of Tripoli,” he told reporters.

He said eight wanted men and 12 other suspects were arrested. He also alleged that teachers have been telling students that Gadhafi will return and said teams had been sent to stop the practice.

“We gave the military council a chance to prove themselves and they failed, and we will not leave things to chance,” he said.
A few more details from the article on how it's said the clash started:
A senior Interior Ministry official, Ibrahim al-Bargathi, said Friday’s skirmish started when a group of some 30 people, including eight women and some armed men, started walking with green flags. Local opponents began fighting with them, then revolutionary forces swarmed into the area from across the city, he said.

He said six people were injured and 14 were captured — nine men and five women.
The firefight in Tripoli began after Friday prayers. Witnesses said dozens of loyalists carrying green flags appeared on a square in the Abu Salim neighborhood, which has long been a pro-Gadhafi stronghold. Residents also reported fighting in several other areas known to still hold loyalists of the former leader.
Ghana Politics: Libya leaders mop up after deadly clashes in Tripoli
The head of Tripoli's supreme military council, Abdelhakim Belhaj, pledged tough action against the pro-Gaddafi fighters and "sleeper cells" of the former regime which he said would be targeted in the clean-up operation.
"The fighters are in the process of clearing the buildings in the area of Gaddafi loyalists," Hamad (40) -- an NTC soldier manning one of the checkpoints in the neighbourhood -- said on Saturday.

He said they had already found evidence that the Gaddafi loyalists had been preparing for the clashes, including sandbags and flak jackets on the roofs of apartment blocks.

Abdelrazaq al-Aradi, vice-president of the security committee in Tripoli [...] told a news conference that around 50 armed Gaddafi supporters were behind the violence, 27 of whom, including four "African mercenaries", were arrested on Friday.

Abu Salim residents said the fighting broke out during pro-Gaddafi demonstrations after noon prayers, prompted by a call to rise from a pro-Gaddafi Libyan television presenter earlier in the week, broadcast on Iraqi [Syrian] TV channel Al-Rai.
Wow, people in foreign lands, speaking on video screens, encouraging people to rise up against their governments? Unprecedented. As for the mercenaries, how much do you get paid to help start a seemingly hopeless uprising and just get arrested/shot for it? Those unprincipled scum, black devils, they'll do anything for enough money.

Update Nov. 2
We'veseen what guns plus green flags means as far as making someone a legitimate military target. And in Libya's fledgeling democracy, new ideas on how to deal with non-violent loyalists are being freely exchanged in the capitol . As NPR reported back on October 6:
At a checkpoint in Abu Salim, two anti-Gadhafi fighters argue about what they would do if they spotted someone waving Gadhafi's green flag.

"It's a democracy," one of them says. "As long as they don't have a weapon, I would let them go on their way."

The other waves his gun and says he would shoot them dead.
As the header for this site shows, others share the view of the guy most likely to win any argument that emerged at that checkpoint. And the Az Zintan fighters are perhaps the meanest among them. As the Associated Press reported on the latest (rebel-on-rebel) clashes on Halloween, they mentioned another case of protecting the people from loyalists I haven't found any further details on:
Last week, a woman from Tripoli's once [sic] staunchly pro-Gadhafi Abu Salim neighborhood was killed after an argument with a Zintan fighter.


  1. Worth examining TMC leader Abdulla Naker in more detail. Starters...
    Mohamed Fadel Fahmy Abdulla Naker, is one who started this Gadafi "arrest" saga. Defense ministry & senior NTC members either cannot confirm or deny. #Libya
    13 Oct via web

  2. Militia warning as Libyan PM forms Government Reuters 18 November 2011: Demanding Keib appoint ministers who would represent the young rebels who ousted the old order, Naker, leader of the Tripoli Revolutionary Council said his men would protest nationwide, peacefully "at first" if they did not like the new cabinet, as they did against Gaddafi.

    "If we find we have the same dictatorship, we will respond in the same way," he said, showing off video of his men firing Grad missiles and driving Soviet-build T-72 tanks during the war. "It will not be an armed movement at first, but it might develop into that. There's a strong possibility that it will."

    And from nowmorocco blog, 12 Jan 2012: The Libyan militia leader Abdullah Naker who is the Head of Tripoli's Revolutionists Council Said that Any Intervention by the US in Libya will be none other than an anouncement of War against him and Libya.

    The US Announced Yesterday that it is Willing To Send Troops in Order to Disarm the Libyan Militias who are threatening to overthrow the Weak Libyan Government.


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