From my suburb of Souk al-Jamma, I was awakened by the sound of gunfire around 5 o'clock on Sunday morning. I learned from a friend that there were clashes in the suburb of Trig Assor. I went there around 11am. The members of the local militia, who call themselves the ‘revolutionaries of Trig Assor’, were fighting with members of another militia headquartered in the Supreme Security Committee building. The Interior Ministry had tasked this militia with ensuring security in the area.
The Trig Assor militias supported by an army unit.
After failing to calm the situation, the army’s mobile unit ended up siding with the Trig Assor revolutionaries in order to help them find the people accused of the pervious day’s murder. Among the suspects was Mohamed al-Ouerflalli, the chief of the brigade headquartered in the SSC building. The revolutionaries had said they wanted to capture and kill him. According to what I heard, the deceased man had been stopped by members of al-Ouerflalli’s militia while inebriated, and they beat him to death.
The headquarters of the Supreme Security Committee falls under army control.
There were sporadic exchanges of gunfire between the two camps posted in either side of Zaouia street. I went on the side where the youths from Trig Assor were posted and began taking photos with my mobile phone while trying to remain as discreet as possible, so that my phone wouldn’t get confiscated.
An army officer tries to negotiate with supporters of Mohamed al-Ouerflalli.
After this, there was a truce for about two hours, during which an army officer went into the SSC building to negotiate with the militia of about 15 armed men. The discussions, however, came to nothing, and the gun battles resumed in the early afternoon. Fighters from both camps attacked each other with AK-47s and rocket launchers. They fired into the air with heavy 14.5mm-calibre machine guns. The gun battles were very intense. One of the youths from Trig Assor fell right in front of me. I don’t know whether he is alive or whether he died from his injuries.
The Supreme Security Committee headquarters was set on fire.
The army’s mobile forces and the youths from Trig Assor then managed to take control of the SSC building while members of al-Ouerflalli’s militia group withdrew to nearby streets.
The arrest of one of al-Ouerflalli’s supporters. According to our Observer, this man is al-Ouerflalli’s brother.
The clashes moved to the surrounding side streets and continued until 5 o'clock Sunday afternoon. Several members of al-Ouerflalli’s militia, including his brother, were arrested by the soldiers. But as far as I know, they weren’t able to capture al-Ouerflalli himself.
A car struck by a rocket launcher.