12 Slain as Rebel Factions Clash in Libya

'Ancient Rivalries,' Weaponry Cited in Attacks

The first in what is expected to be a number of clashes erupting in post-Gadhafi Libya, fighting today broke out between rebel groups in the Nafusa mountains today, leaving at least 12 killed and 16 others wounded.

Two completely independent justifications were given for why this battle erupted, with officials initially claiming that “ancient rivalries” between the residents of the towns of Gharyan and Kikla and the residents of Asabah were responsible.

This changed, however, when the rebel brigade from Gharyan and Kikla was reported to have come to Asabah to recover the heavy weapons they left there during fighting with regime forces.

They didn’t get their weapons, or at least not in the way they hoped, as Asabah fighters opened fire on the brigade when they arrived. Officials from Gharyan and Kikla claimed most of the people in Asabah were Gadhafi loyalists, but this does not appear to have been a factor in the fighting.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.