Gunfire, explosions reported in Libya’s capital

Gunfire, explosions reported in Libya’s capital

PanARMENIAN.Net - At least two people were killed when heavy fighting erupted near the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Wednesday, two days after gunmen stormed parliament in some of the city's worst violence since the 2011 war, according to Reuters.

Residents reported several loud explosions near the al-Yarmouk barracks in the Salaheddin district. Gunfire and explosions later appeared to die down.

Heavy fighting involving anti-aircraft batteries also broke out near an army camp in Tajoura, an eastern suburb. "We're hearing really loud explosions and gunshots near the camp, but we don't know who is shooting," a Tajoura resident said.

It was unclear who was involved in the latest violence, which killed at least two people from Mali, a health ministry source said. Other parts of the capital appeared to be quiet, according to Reuters.

In addition, Libya's top naval commander, General Hasssan Abu Shanaq, survived an assassination attempt by unknown gunmen as he was travelling to work, a spokesman for the chief of staff said.

In the eastern city of Benghazi, gunmen killed a Chinese engineer on Tuesday after kidnapping him from his worksite and then dumping his body, according to a security source in the eastern city.

The engineer was one of three colleagues at a Chinese construction company who were all abducted from a worksite on Wednesday, according to China's official press agency, Xinhua. He was later found shot and died in hospital, Xinhua said. His two colleagues were released.

Militants around Benghazi have targeted foreigners in the past, including an attack on the U.S. consulate in 2012 in which U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died.

Since Libya's 2011 war ended Muammar Gaddafi's one-man rule, the country's new institutions have struggled to gain popular backing and to make progress towards full democracy. But the central government has been unable to control the brigades and militias who helped to topple Gaddafi. They are now defying state authority to make their own demands.

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