Libya trafficker's militia in deadly clash with security forces

Tripoli - A Libyan militia led by a former people trafficker clashed on Sunday with security forces at a checkpoint in the western city of Sabratha, leaving one dead, a security official said.

The violence pitted the militia of former smuggler Ahmad Dabbashi, who controls almost half of Sabratha, against the forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), the source said.

Four militiamen opened fire on the checkpoint, according to the official. "Our men retaliated, and one of the militiamen was killed and three others wounded."

The source, speaking to AFP by telephone against the background noise of gunfire and explosions, said Dabbashi's militiamen returned, sparking fresh clashes.

The militia was not immediately reachable for comment on the incident.

Libya has plunged into insecurity and political chaos since the ouster and killing of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a Nato-backed 2011 revolution.

People smugglers have fed on the chaos, turning violence-wracked Libya into a key gateway for illegal migration to Europe.

Sabratha, 40km west of Tripoli, where the GNA is based, is Libya's main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe.

Dabbashi is reportedly among several people smugglers who have decided to halt their lucrative smuggling and cooperate with authorities.

In July, Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti proposed a pact with Libya to combat human trafficking during a visit to Tripoli to meet mayors of cities affected by the scourge.

But he has denied making any direct or indirect contact with people smugglers.

The number of migrants who have reached Italy from Libya since mid-July has fallen dramatically to 6,500, just 15 percent of the average for the same period in the previous three years.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
34% - 843 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
66% - 1620 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.38
-0.3%
Rand - Pound
20.57
+0.5%
Rand - Euro
17.14
+0.6%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.87
+0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.4%
Gold
1,803.07
-0.9%
Silver
22.78
-3.1%
Palladium
2,343.47
+0.4%
Platinum
1,026.64
-0.7%
Brent Crude
89.96
+2.0%
Top 40
67,070
-0.4%
All Share
73,504
-0.4%
Resource 10
75,094
-0.2%
Industrial 25
90,477
-1.1%
Financial 15
15,064
+0.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE