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Libyan authorities to dissolve 'unlawful' militias

AFP
23 September 2012 | Libya
Vehicles burn after armed Libyan demonstrators stormed the headquarters of the Raf Allah al-Sahati Brigade.  By Abdullah Doma (AFP)
Vehicles burn after armed Libyan demonstrators stormed the headquarters of the Raf Allah al-Sahati Brigade. By Abdullah Doma (AFP)

BENGHAZI, Libya (AFP) - The Libyan authorities said late Saturday they had decided to dissolve all militias and armed groups that did not come under State authority.

The move, a day after Benghazi residents rebelled against the militias in violence that killed at least 11 people and wounded over 70, was announced by Mohammed al-Megaryef, head of the national assembly, in the eastern city.

The authorities also decided to put in place an "operations room" in Benghazi bringing together the army, forces of the interior ministry and defence ministry brigades comprising former rebels.

And they called on the army to impose its authority by putting its own officers at the head of brigades born out of the 2011 revolt, which escalated into civil war and toppled the regime of Moamer Kadhafi.

The new authorities have not been able to disband these civilians turned fighters though many of their units have joined the ministry of interior or ministry of defence.

On Friday, tens of thousands of Libyans demonstrated against militias, ten days after an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi left four Americans, including the ambassador, dead.

Hundreds of them later stormed the bases of militias sparking heavy clashes that left 11 dead and dozens wounded.

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