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Libya: Five dead in fighting between armed groups

    Libya: Five dead in fighting between armed groups
FILE- In this Friday, March 4, 2011 file picture, doctors and volunteers in the eastern city...   -  
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Tara Todras-Whitehill/AP2011


A group of armed men and women in the western Libyan city of Zawiya clashed on Sunday night, killing five people and wounding 13 others, according to emergency services.

According to local media, the clashes, including heavy weapons, were between two groups officially affiliated with the Ministries of Defence and Interior, in the heart of the city located about 40 km from the capital Tripoli.

The Ambulance and Rescue Service reported 5 dead, including a 10-year-old girl, and 13 injured.

According to a local security source who requested anonymity, the fighting broke out after a member of one of the two groups was killed by a supporter of the other because of a dispute over fuel trafficking, which is very common in this region near the border with Tunisia.

The clashes come at a time when the North African country is going through a serious political crisis against a backdrop of chronic insecurity marked by recurrent fighting between armed groups.

Two governments have been fighting for power since March: one based in Tripoli and led by Abdelhamid Dbeibah and another led by Fathi Bachagha and supported by the camp of Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strongman of the east.

At the end of August, fighting between rival militias in Tripoli left 32 people dead and 159 wounded as a result of this political tug of war.

Libya has been plunged into chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, plagued by power struggles and regional divisions.

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