November 21, 2016

A monkey sparks violence between rival tribes in Libyan town

At least 21 people were left dead and hundreds of others injured in four days of fighting between two rival tribes in the southern Libyan town of Sebha.

The clashes were between the Awled Suleiman tribe and the tribe of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi, the Guedadfa tribe.

According to Libyan media and social networks, the violence was sparked after a monkey belonging to a member of one of the two tribes allegedly assaulted a schoolgirl whose family came from the rival tribe.

This version could not be confirmed from official sources.

Nasser al-Jehimi of the medical centre in Sebha said 21 people were killed and around 100 others injured in the clashes. The number of wounded victims on the part of the Guedadfa tribe is not known as they are being treated in another hospital.

Salah Badr, a member of the city council contacted by AFP pointed out that tensions between the two tribes have existed for years.

“A minor incident that happened set the whole city on fire,” he said, without further clarification.

Several homes have been hit by rockets and mortar shells, witnesses said.

The Sebha Medical Center reiterated that all its staff assume neutrality with respect to the two rival camps while stressing that it is not responsible for the safety of the injured under its care.

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