A gun battle broke out in the Libyan capital Tripoli between supporters of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi and forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC).
Local residents on Friday said a group of armed men had
earlier appeared in Abu Salim, a centre of support for Gaddafi, and had
begun chanting pro-Gaddafi slogans.
NTC fighters converged on the Hay Nasr district of the Abu Salim neighbourhood, in pickups mounted with weapons and began setting up checkpoints.
Many opened fire at the buildings on Friday, fearing snipers were inside.
About 20 to 50 armed supporters of Gaddafi exchanged automatic and heavy machine gun fire with the NTC forces, the witness told the Reuters news agency.
Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from Tripoli, said he could see smoke over the Abu Salim area in the capital.
"The sound of gunfire and heavy weapons being fired also was heard in the neighbourhood," he said.