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A mischievous monkey is being blamed for sparking a massive melee in Muslim-dominated Libya that lasted four days and resulted in the deaths of 20 and the wounding of 50.
The death count, initially reported at 16, rose Monday to 20, Time reported.
Residents of the southern city of Sabha said a monkey owned by a shopkeeper from the Gaddadfa tribe attacked some schoolgirls and pulled off one of the girl’s headscarfs. Men from the Awlad Suleiman tribe then retaliated, by killing the monkey – and three Gaddadfa men.
A monkey’s being blamed for sparking a deadly clash between tribes in Libya that left 20 dead.
As the Globe and Mail reported, the situation only escalated. Villagers pulled out the tanks and mortars.
More, from Reuters:
“‘There was an escalation on the second and third days with the use of tanks, mortars and other heavy weapons.’ [one] resident told Reuters by telephone, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the denigrating security situation.
“‘There are still sporadic clashes and life is completely shut down in the areas where there has been fighting.’”
The Gaddadfa and the Awlad Suleiman tribes are the two most powerful and heavily armed groups in the region.
The Globe and Mail gives more details on the incidennt:
“[I]nitial attempts by tribal leaders to calm the fighting and arrange a ceasefire so that bodies could be recovered had failed, residents said.
“By Sunday, Sabha Medical Centre had received the bodies of 16 people killed in the clashes and some 50 wounded, said a spokesman for the center.
“‘There are women and children among the wounded and some foreigners from sub-Saharan African countries among those killed due to indiscriminate shelling,’ he said.”