Update: There was further fighting at Tajoura just east of Tripoli on Friday night into Saturday, with the death toll rising to 41 with 500 injured. The fighting seems to be in part over local people in Tripoli not wanting continued HQs in the capital of the various regional or city-based militias from outside the capital, such as Misrata and Zintan. The outside militias want a position in Tripoli because that is where they can claim resources and facilities (the Zintanis had for a long time controlled the airport, e.g.). They are afraid that the central government will slight and ignore them if they go home. But locals often see them as mafias. Tripoli-based militias loyal to Prime Minister Ali Zeidan have set up checkpoints in the capital and are waiting to see if the outside militias try to reassert themselves by sending convoys of reinforcements.
Tripoli, the capital of Libya, turned bloody on Friday when peaceful civilians came out to protest the hold of the country by militias, and militias viciously attacked them.
Things went well enough at Liberation Square (formerly Green Square), but then the protesters marched on other districts of the capital. At Gharhur they protested at the HQ of the Misrata militia in the capital and they were attacked by militiamen, some of whom used heavy weaponry against the peaceful, unarmed protesters. Thirty-four were killed and hundreds wounded.
Prime Minister Aii Zeidan first came out and announced there had been clashes between two armed groups. Then he retracted and recognized the reality, that innocent civilians had been slaughtered.
Zeidan maintains that some 5,000 new Libyan troops are being trained in Europe, but neither the numbers nor the long delay in deploying these new troops gives cause for optimism.
Zeidan announced that armed militiamen from outside the capital would no longer be allowed in Tripoli, though he did not specifiy how that step would be accomplished.
Zeidan and the Libyan government in general have been too slow to build up a new army for the country and to move away from militia rule. The degree to which the West has for the most part abandoned Zeidan is also evident.