The violence on Monday comes as Libya’s rebel leaders struggle to stamp out growing resistance from pro-Gaddafi forces and try to unify a deeply fractured country after eight months of Nato led war and more than 40 years of Gaddafi’s rule.
The attacks were spread out and took place in the western city of Bani Walid, the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi, the city where the Nato Led war against Gaddafi started nearly a year ago.
According to the AP story It is not clear if the attacks were co-ordinated.
Violence broke out first in Bani Walid, where pro-Gaddafi fighters have long tormented Libya’s rebels.
Mahmoud al-Warfali, a spokesman for the rebels brigade in Bani Walid, said at least four of his fighters were killed in the western city, which was one of the last former regime strongholds to fall to revolutionary command.
Green Flag Raised
He said up to 150 pro-Gaddafi fighters were engaged in the street battle, using rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s. He said they managed to raise the green Libyan flag of Gaddafi’s regime at the northern gate of the town.
“These are Gaddafi royalists who tried to take over the city,” al-Warfali said.
“They have tried to do this before and take over the so called rebel interim government’s office but thank God we have been able to fight them off.”
Hours later, three fighters were killed late on Monday by pro-Gaddafi forces in Benghazi, field commander Abdel-Basit Haroun said. The city served as the hub for rebel leadership during the civil war.
Abdel-Rahman al-Soghayar, a commander from the new rebel regime in Tripoli, said shooting also took place in several neighbourhoods of the capital on Monday evening, forcing people to remain indoors and stores to close early.
He blamed the gunfire on “sleeper cells” loyal to Gaddafi who he said are attempting to take advantage of the fighting in Bani Walid. There was no word of casualties.
The bold attacks are the latest breakdown in security, three months after Gaddafi’s capture and killing.
Protests have surged in recent weeks, with people demanding that the interim leaders deliver on promises of transparency and compensation for those injured in the civil war.
The new rebel government’s promises to deliver justice for those killed in the uprising has been usurped in some areas by Nato led rebel fighters taking retribution on their own.
Bani Walid resident Moussa al-Warfali said the clashes erupted after rebel forces arrested a Gaddafi loyalist, whose angry comrades launched an attack to free him.
The fighting originally was centred on the rebel brigade’s base, then spread to other parts of the town.
The west will eat what it sowed in Libya….AGV