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There's a secret war going on in Tripoli, and Qaddafi's regime is going to great lengths to keep it a secret. According to a report from Adrian Blomfield of The Telegraph, the supposed "bastion of unswerving loyalty" to Qaddafi is being challenged, despite great efforts on the government's part to maintain order--or at least the appearance of order. According to Blomfield's Twitter account on Thursday morning, that effort now includes purging journalists who report otherwise:

I have been summarily expelled from #Libya for writing this and given 45 minutes to pack up and goless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

"Libya: covert guerilla war in Tripoli," the article to which Blomfield links, reports not only on the existence of an underground war:

By day, there is indeed a veneer of normality and pro-regime loyalty in the capital, a front government minders are keen to emphasise when guiding western reporters on heavily-chaperoned tours of the city.

By night, however, mysterious bursts of gunfire can be heard on a far more frequent basis than the sound of falling Nato bombs.

Minders attribute such sounds to loyal citizens shooting in the air in celebration, a partially plausible claim after Col Gaddafi doled out weapons to loyal residents and encouraged them to root out dissidents.

But also, how the Gaddafi regime is covering up the conflict:

Yet many in the suburb seemed reluctant to talk openly, resorting to circumlocution to express their opposition to the colonel.

Explaining the need for euphemism, one said: "It is too dangerous. People are afraid to talk because there are secret police and informers everywhere." […]

Last week, hundreds of Tripoli residents sought sanctuary behind rebel lines in the Nafusa mountains on a single day alone, according to western camera crews.

Those who have stayed say they fear the conflict in Tripoli is steadily worsening and will eventually explode into full-scale bloodletting.

We've reached out to Blomfield for more information, but did not hear back in time for this post. Presumably, that's because he's packing his things to leave the country.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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