The Libyan revolution that overthrew Moammar Gadhafi was hailed as a triumphant success and the country's wartime leaders -- the National Transitional Council -- seemed better positioned than their counterparts in Egypt to build a stable, democratic government.
However, groups of former rebels have broken away from the NTC and on Tuesday, clashes erupted in capital of Tripoli.
There are reportedly a number of armed militia groups currently operating in the city. The fighting on Tuesday likely involved a group currently holding in the building that housed the intelligence agency under Gadhafi. According to witnesses, these forces fought off NTC security men trying to evict them, Al Bawaba reported.
Six people were reportedly killed in the gun battle.
Additionally, fighting broke out near the old Interior Ministry building in Tripoli, according to Al Jazeera, where militiamen from the city of Misrata fought local Tripoli forces.
Apparently what's happened is that one of the brigades from Misrata had a member of theirs arrested. They went in to then get that member out from the old Ministry of the Interior building, and that's when the clashes broke out, reporter Imran Khan said.
Witnesses said members of the Tripoli militia arrested six Misrata men, brought them inside the council building, beat them up and detained them.
The clashes occurred on the same day that the National Transitional Government proposed a law governing who can be elected to the committee that will draft a new constitution, Libya's next important step in transitioning to a new, permanent government.
Former members of Gadhafi's government, as well as anyone accused of human rights abuses, corruption, business relations with Gadhafi’s family or who has a degree based on Gadhafi's philosophical treatise, the Green Book, would be banned from running in elections, according to the Washington Post.
The Libyan revolution was effectively ended in October after the death of Gadhafi and the fall of the cities of Sirte and Bani Walid. The NTC quickly worked to get international support for a new government and appointed an interim prime minister while planning for the future. However, three months later, the armed militias in Tripoli pose a new security threat in Libya's transitional period.
The big fear that most Libyans have here is about security. They're very worried about these groups being out on the street with guns, and they're very worried that incidents can quickly escalate. And that's what we're seeing here today, an Al Jazeera correspondent reported.
It's very difficult for the ruling NTC and the interim government to try and control the brigades that are out on the streets, because they're simply entrenched in their positions and they have no choice, because you have to realise that if you want security in this country and ... you don't have a fully functioning police force ... then you rely on these armed brigades.