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Security tensions in Tripoli as armed conflict appears to be looming

Tens of armed vehicles with tens of armed fighters took to roads in Hay Al-Andalus neighborhood in Tripoli chanting words against the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity Abdul Hamid Dbiebah, a sign described as a power show by armed factions loyal to Prime Minister-designate Fathi Bashagha.

Sources said the fighters were affiliated with forces under General Osama Juwaili – the commander of west military zone – who joined Bashagha’s alliance lately as well as an armed faction of General Security Apparatus led by Emad Al-Tarabelsi – a Zintani leader – who hasn’t yet announce with which side he is, especially with Juwaili; a prominent Zintani leader, joining Bashagha.

Earlier in Thursday, another Juwaili-loyal force of more than 50 vehicles and armored vehicles moved from Fourth Battalion Camp to 7 April Camp in Al-Sawani in south Tripoli.

Responding to pro-Bashagha military movements, the Constitution Protection Force mobilized forces in south and west Tripoli, while sources said forces from Al-Zawiya, and Misrata as well as other forces rejecting Bashagha’s alliance and positioned in camps within Tripoli also mobilized forces in case clashes would erupt.

Bashagha’s attempt to enter Tripoli last week didn’t go as planned as pro-Bashagha forces were encircled in downtown Tripoli and one of his companions was killed as others were injured. Bashagha managed to leave the capital after the intervention of Brigade 444 that escorted him and his delegation out to Shuwairif in south Libya.

This new development comes one day after Bashagha has told The Associated Press that his government will work from Sirte and only enter Tripoli if conditions are 100% favorable.

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