17 Jan 2012

Fighting in Libya

1:38 pm on 17 January 2012

Rival militias in Libya have been fighting for three days south of Tripoli, killing at least three people and defying attempts by the interim government to broker a ceasefire.

Fighting around the town of Gharyan, about 80km south of the capital, started on Friday and continued sporadically throughout the weekend.

One faction reportedly still supports the former regime.

On Saturday, Defence Minister Osama al-Juweili travelled there to try to broker a ceasefire. It did not hold.

On Sunday, a delegation of tribal elders arrived in Gharyan in an attempt to mediate in the dispute and to negotiate a prisoner exchange. But the stand-off continues and the situation remains tense.

The BBC reports the latest clashes raise new security fears just three months after the death of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Many people are refusing to hand in their weapons saying they are suspicious of the country's new rulers, the Transitional National Council.