SABHA, Libya, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A weekend tribal battle in Sabha, Libya, allegedly prompted by a monkey pulling off a woman's headscarf, has killed 16 people, officials said.
Clashes between the Gadadfah and Awlad Sulaiman tribes in the southern Libyan city injured another 60 since Thursday.
Residents say the battles began when the pet monkey of a Gaddadfah shopkeeper attacked a group of girls walking past the shop. The monkey bit and scratched one girl, pulling off her headscarf, and men from the Awlad Sulaiman tribe retaliated by killing three Gaddadfah members, the Libyan Express reported Sunday.
The two tribes are the most powerful factions in the Sabha area and have tanks, mortars and other heavy weapons. The region, like much of the rest of Libya, is without government authority and is the scene of violence among competing groups. Sabha is also allegedly a regional hub for arms smuggling and human trafficking.
A spokesman for the Sabha Medical Center said Sunday that woman and children, as well as foreigners from sub-Saharan Africa, have been killed in the fighting.
A statement from Libya's Justice and Construction Party called for the leadership of the Government of National Accord, the federal government in Libya recognized by the United Nations, to hasten a solution to the ongoing clashes in Sabha.