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Originally published Monday, April 2, 2012 at 2:01 AM

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Militias: Clashes near Libya's Tunisia border

Residents of two rival Libyan towns near the western border with Tunisia say that clashes have erupted between their militias.

Associated Press

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TRIPOLI, Libya —

Residents of two rival Libyan towns near the western border with Tunisia say that clashes have erupted between their militias.

The battle between Ragdalein and Zwara is the latest in a series of local conflicts that demonstrate the weak authority of Libya's new government.

Spokesman for Ragdalein fighters Rami Kanaan says they captured 34 Zwara men on Sunday. He says the move came after months of abuses by a Zwara brigade, including the looting of property.

Zwara local council head Abo-Bakr Taloa says 21 of his men were captured. He says that Ragdalein was a hub for deposed dictator Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists.

The conflict escalated into battles involving automatic rifles and tanks, according to both sides. There was no immediate word of casualties.

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