TRIPOLI: At least 31 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded in Tripoli after a demonstration calling on unruly militias to leave the Libyan capital turned violent on Friday, the health minister said.
The militias are holdovers from the 2011 uprising that ousted dictator Moamer Kadhafi and are a powerful force in the increasingly lawless North African country.
The government called for a ceasefire after the demonstration turned into a deadly confrontation between groups of gunmen.
“We call on all armed factions to cease fire so the government can take the necessary measures to restore calm in the capital,” it said in a statement read by Culture Minister Hassan al-Amin.
But witnesses said explosions and sporadic gunfire continued into the night in several areas of the Libyan capital after the arrival of “reinforcements” from the port city of Misrata, scene of some of the most brutal fighting in the 2011 uprising.