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Libya halts bonus payments over fraud: report

By AFP

TRIPOLI (AFP) - Libya's interim authorities have stopped paying bonuses to former rebels due to widespread fraud costing millions of Libyan dinars, the official LANA news agency reported on Monday.

"Payment of rewards to rebels have been stopped due to violations and abuses," Mohammed Harizi, spokesman for the ruling National Transitional Council, was quoted as saying.

"Millions of (Libyan) dinars allocated to revolutionaries were lost in (illegitimate) payments to non-beneficiaries," he said.

The interim authorities referred the violations to the offices of the attorney general and audit bureau for investigation, the spokesman added.

No further payments would be made until distribution mechanisms are revised and the lists of beneficiaries approved by local military councils across the country, Harizi said.

He stressed that the main purpose of bonuses was to encourage rebels to join the official institutions of the state and hand in their weapons.

Militiamen angered by non-payment have recently held small protests in front of the headquarters of the interim authorities in Tripoli and raised checkpoints blocking traffic in some neighbourhoods of the capital.