Tripolitania & Tripoli
The death of a suspected drug dealer, Najmi Ibrahim Al-Abani, on 6 January at the hands of the Al Nawasi Brigade in Fashloum triggered several days of demonstrations and unrest in the capital. Reports suggested that at least six deaths resulted from the clashes and also resulted in traffic chaos in several areas of Tripoli following the occupation of major intersections. The circumstances of the suspects’ death at the Nawasi detention centre are unclear and disputed; claims suggest his death was caused by hypothermia due to wet clothes, whilst others claim he was tortured to death.
The initial fallout of the incident saw clashes in the Suq al Juma region on 8 January, with some reports claiming the death of up to eight people. Four drug gang members were reported killed in the Gharat area on 9January and the Al Nawasi base inside the Mitiga Airbase was also reported to have been targeted. The clashes in Tripoli caused Prime Minister Ali Zidan to warn that lawlessness would not be tolerated, citing that ‘some entities’ intentions were to prosper whilst Libya remained in chaos. The Libya Herald reported that unrest continued on 11 January when an estimated 100 young men, mostly from Tripoli’s Fashloum and Suq Al-Juma districts, gathered on Martyrs’ Square during the evening to protest against the Nawasi brigade. Protesters were also reported to have gathered at the entrance to Mitiga Airbase.