Libya official says 2 died in Tripoli clashes

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By ESAM MOHAMED, Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — A Libyan medical official has raised the death toll to two from intense clashes overnight between rival militias in the capital, Tripoli.

The fighting was sparked by the death of a militia commander from the western city of Misrata. Dozens of Misrata militiamen, some riding in pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns, drove into Tripoli late Thursday to attack their rivals.

The clashes scuttled Tripoli residents off the streets, forcing drivers to abandon their cars and run for their lives. Many closed shops while others fled their homes after bullets struck their apartment buildings. Bullets also shattered windows of a five stars hotel. Sporadic gunfire was heard into the early hours Friday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

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