Gunfight, car blast rock central Tripoli
A gunbattle between youths allegedly competing for space in a market place and a car blast rocked the centre of the Libyan capital on Saturday, leaving one wounded, residents and security sources said.
"There was a fight between youths over market space," Mohammed, a young resident of Al-Rashid neighbourhood near Martyr's Square, told AFP.
"They were shooting at each other and throwing gelatin," an easily available TNT-based explosive used in fishing, said the resident, adding that the fighting took place at around dawn.
A car blast -- apparently caused by gelatin -- rocked the same area.
"The car, a Honda Civic, blew up to pieces," said a guard stationed at the military police base just metres (yards) from where the blast took place.
He said the blast could have been caused by "fishing explosives" that were either in or thrown at the car.
Senior officers at the same branch declined to comment on the explosion.
But a foreign security expert who evaluated the site of the blast confirmed to AFP that the explosion appeared to have been caused by TNT used in fishing.
"The blast appears to have been caused by gelatin," he said, basing that assessment on the nature of the scorch marks and the absence of a crater.
He added that the blast did not appear to have been caused by a car bomb.
The shopping district bustled with activity in the morning after the car had been removed from the area, an AFP journalist said.
Images diffused on social media showed the charred remains of a red vehicle.
Dark scorch marks stained the sides of buildings on the corner where most of the fighting and the blast took place.
The windows of several clothes shop in the area were pockmarked by bullet holes and shopkeepers grumbled at the damage done to their stores.
At least two vehicles parked on the commercial street had bullet holes.
And at least one person, a Tunisian, was wounded, witnesses said.
Medical officials at Al-Huruq hospital said they admitted a Tunisian, age 54, who was wounded by shrapnel from an explosion. He was under anaesthesia following an operation, an AFP photographer said.
Al-Rashid is known as one of the rougher areas in Tripoli and is also a hub for unlicensed market stalls selling T-shirts, jeans and suitcases.
While business opened as usual, the underlying mood was tense and many residents declined to comment on the cause of the conflict or its culprits. "Everyone is tense here because there is no security," said a shopkeeper.
Most of the urban violence to have hit Libya in the wake of last year's revolt which ousted Moamer Kadhafi has taken place in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Ministers in Prime Minister Hisham Qandil's cabinet following the recent reshuffle (new appointees are in italics): 1. Minister of Agriculture Ahmed Mahmoud Ali El-Gizawi2. Minister of Antiquities Ahmed Eissa3. Minister of Aviation Wael Maadawi4. Minister of Communication Atef Helmy5. Minister of Culture
AP— April 15, 2013: Two bombs explode in the packed streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 140.— January 17, 2011: A backpack bomb is placed along a Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane, Washington, meant to kill and injure participants in a civil rights march, but is found and disabled before it can explode. White
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