Mon, September 24, 2012
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Libya dissolves militia forces

2012-09-24 02:50:11 GMT2012-09-24 10:50:11(Beijing Time)

Libya’s interim government on Sunday ordered the breakup of all militias that do not fall under its authority, and demanded that those militias pull out of military compounds and public property within 48 hours.

President Mohammed el-Megaref said late Saturday all of the country's militias must come under government authority or disband.

The order came in response to public anger at the militias after an armed group assaulted a United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi earlier this month, killing Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

On Friday, residents of Benghazi staged a mass demonstration against the militias before storming the compounds of several armed groups in the city in an unprecedented protest to demand the militias dissolve.

The Libyan government has taken advantage of the popular sentiment to move quickly. In a statement published by the official LANA news agency, the military asked all armed groups using the army's camps, outposts and barracks in Tripoli, and other cities to hand them over. It warned that it will resort to force if the groups refuse.

On Sunday, security forces raided a number of sites in the capital, including a military outpost on the main airport road, which were being used as bases by disparate militias since Gadhafi was driven from the capital around a year ago, according to military spokesman Ali al-Shakhli.

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