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Iran Press TV

Libyan government deploys troops to Tripoli

Iran Press TV

Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:55PM GMT

Hundreds of troops have been deployed to Libya's capital, Tripoli, following deadly violence that gripped the city after anti-militia protesters were attacked by armed militiamen.

'A number of units of the national army are about to enter the city of Tripoli from several areas in order to secure it,' the government said in a statement.

The deployment comes after community leaders and officials urged the withdrawal of all militias from the capital within 72 hours.

On Friday, gunmen fired at demonstrators protesting against militias, triggering clashes between rival militants.

At least 43 people were killed and hundreds wounded in the violence.

Meanwhile in another development, the Libyan deputy intelligence chief has been freed by his abductors a day after he was seized near Tripoli airport.

Libya has been gripped by lawlessness following the 2011 uprising against the rule of the former dictator, Muammar Ghaddafi. Ever since, myriad militia groups have been carving out their own territories across the mostly-desert country.

Over the past few months, the capital city of Tripoli and its suburbs have been also hit by violent clashes between rival militias who participated in the 2011 uprising.

A powerful force in the increasingly lawless North African country, the militias have been rejecting calls from a weak central government to leave the capital.

The former rebels refuse to lay down their arms, despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.

Many countries have closed their consulates in Libyan cities and some foreign airlines have stopped flying there.


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