TRIPOLI, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Clashes between rival tribes in Libya have left 27 dead and 72 wounded in the city of Sabha and other southern regions, the Libyan interim government said Sunday evening.
Heavy clashes between the Tabu and Awlad Sulieman tribes erupted after assailants launched an armed assault on a military base in the town of Traghen, 80 km south of Sebha, on Friday night, an official government statement said.
A number of soldiers including one of the city's revolutionary commanders Mansour Al-Aswad were killed, escalating tensions between the two tribes.
The violence quickly spread throughout southern region up to the main city of Sabah, leading the death toll to surge.
The interim government has formed a crisis committee to address the situation unfolding in Sabha on Sunday. While the defense minister ordered armed forces to be deployed in the regions most afflicted by violence, the government statement added.
Emergency medics were sent to Sabha to aid the wounded and attempts were made by the tribes' elders to quell the tension between the communities.
The Tabu tribe in Libya often complained of neglect under the former Gaddafi regime, and during the 2011 civil war they were at the forefront of the uprising. Demands towards an autonomous state have increased after the uprising in the wake of a new wave of violence and lawlessness in the region.
Tribal fighting between Tabu, one of the Libya's indigenous cultural minority groups, and the Arab Awlad Suleiman tribe left 70 people dead in March 2012.
The Tabu is a nomadic tribe that is scattered in the south of Libya, the north and west of Chad, and are also found in western Sudan and northern Niger.