Monkey fight leads to all-out war in Libya

Monkey fight leads to all-out war in Libya
2 min read
20 November, 2016
A tribal conflict has broken out in Libya, sparked by an incident involving a pet monkey.
Sabha has witnessed almost continuous fighting since the 2011 revolution started [AFP]
An incident involving a monkey has reportedly sparked tribal battles in a southern Libyan oasis town leaving at least 21 dead.

Fighting broke out in Sabha when two rival tribes reportedly clashed over a monkey attack on a child.

Libyan media reported that the clashes happened when a monkey belonging to a shopkeeper from the Gaddadfa tribe attacked and pulled the headscarf off a schoolgirl's head who was part of the Awlad Suleiman clan.

News spread and men from the Awlad Suleiman killed three people from the rival tribe - along with the monkey - according to Reuters.

Fighting between the two sides soon escalated and involved tanks, shells and rockets with dozens thought to be dead and at least 100 wounded.

The death toll is expected to be much higher, as this only counts the dead and injured from the Awled Suleiman side, according to AFP.

The Gaddadfa is thought to be the same tribe as former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"There was an escalation on the second and third days with the use of tanks, mortars and other heavy weapons," a resident told Reuters.

"There are still sporadic clashes and life is completely shut down in the areas where there has been fighting."

Relations between the two groups have been reportedly strained and clashes in tense Sabha has led to dozens dead.

Most of the violence has been ethnic based, between Tuareg and Toubou clans.

The incident reflects an ingrained divide in the country, with violence since the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011 pitting regions, governments and tribes against one another.