Tunisia briefly reopened its main border crossing with Libya Saturday, allowing some 200 people fleeing unrest to enter its territory, a day after violence prompted its closure.
Fifty vehicles with Libyan plates were seen crossing over the border into Tunisia over a period of about an hour in the morning, and some people carrying luggage did so on foot before the post was shut again, AFP reported.
A security official at the Ras Jedir checkpoint, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tunisia would alternate between opening and closing the crossing, without specifying why or at which intervals.
The authorities closed the crossing at midday Friday after Libyan border guards fired warning shots to keep back a crowd of people trying to enter Tunisia in order to escape violence.
The Tunisian government has urged its estimated 50,000 to 60,000 nationals in neighboring Libya to leave "as soon as possible" because of violence that has raged there since mid-July.
Libya has suffered chronic insecurity since a revolt in 2011, with the government unable to check militias that helped to oust dictator Moammar Gadhafi and facing a growing threat from Islamists.
Fighting between rival militias in Tripoli has forced the closure of the city's international airport, while militants are battling the armed forces in the eastern city of Benghazi.
In the past week, many countries have ordered their citizens to leave and, in some cases, have evacuated them.
Meanwhile, Libya's new nationalist-dominated parliament held its first meeting Saturday, boycotted by Islamists, in a sign of deep divisions still plaguing a violence-racked country from which thousands are fleeing.
The parliament, elected June 25, is to take over from the interim General National Congress chosen in the wake of the 2011 NATO-backed toppling of Gadhafi.
Major fuel depot ablaze
Fire tore through Tripoli's main fuel depot on Saturday after rockets fired by one of Libya's militias struck and ignited a tank, the National Oil company (NOC) said.
Black plumes of smoke rose over the fuel tanks, which store oil for use in the capital and are located near Tripoli's international airport, Reuters reported.
Firefighters deployed to tackle the blaze were forced back by the fighting, NOC spokesman Mohamed al-Harari said.
Saddam Haftar is not captured
A senior officer in the irregular forces loyal to Libya's former general Khalifa Haftar has denied reports that the general's son is being detained by militants in the eastern city of Benghazi.
"Saddam Haftar is currently in eastern Benghazi's al-Abyar district, where commander Haftar is staying," Saqr al-Garoushi, commander of Haftar's air force, told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.
Egyptian media outlets earlier reported that Saddam had been detained by militant groups in Benghazi, which continues to see deadly clashes between forces loyal to Haftar and Islamist militias.
Haftar’s forces carried out three airstrikes east of Benghazi on Friday night, according to a separate statement from Garoushi.
Garoushi announced that his air forces had executed bombing raids against three targets, including one in the suburbs of Benghazi which he said was the location of “weapons for armed groups.”
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