A recent bloody clash between rival factions in Libya all started because of a monkey.
This latest bout of violent conflict erupted when a monkey, belonging to a shopkeeper from Gaddaadfa tribe, attacked a group of schoolgirls walking home. According to the eye witnesses, the agitated animal pulled off a girl’s headscarf and then allegedly scratched and bit her ear.
In retaliation, the Awlad Suleiman tribe, to which the girl belonged, killed three of Gaddadfa’s clanmembers — as well as the offending monkey.
Bader al-Daheli, a civil rights activist, reported the rival tribes are the main factions in the southern city of Sabha and both have the support of armed groups.
Abdel Rahman-Areish, the head of the city’s hospital, said 20 people were killed and 50 wounded in the bloody clash.
This could be a movie. But it's real life: Monkey attack sets off deadly tribal clashes in Libya, 16 killed https://t.co/kNdow4wh6w— Sarah Leah Whitson (@sarahleah1) November 21, 2016
Pet monkey grabs girl's headscarf in southern Libya. Result: gunshots, bombs, tanks, 16 dead, 50 wounded https://t.co/f9QyUK0tQB— Christopher Emsden (@CHCEmsden) November 21, 2016
"There was an escalation on the second and third days with the use of tanks, mortars, and other heavy weapons," a resident, who wished to remain anonymous, reported."There are still sporadic clashes and life is completely shut down in the areas where there has been fighting.”
Like many other cities in Libya, Sabha, has been plagued by civil war since the revolt that toppled Muammar Gaddafi five years ago.
Since then, the country has been broken into conflicting factions. In Sabha, a stronghold for refugee and arms smuggling, the militia abuse and dismal living conditions have further exacerbated the situation.
“There are women and children among the wounded and some foreigners from sub-Saharan African countries among those killed due to indiscriminate shelling,” said a spokesman for the Sabha Medical Centre.
The Gaddadfa and Awlad Suleiman are the most powerful factions in the city and initial attempts by tribal leader to ceasefire, so that bodies could be collected, were in vain.