Libya will not risk clash with shrine attackers

By REUTERS
August 28, 2012 21:05

TRIPOLI - Libya's interior minister said on Tuesday he could would not risk an armed confrontation with hardline Muslims behind a string of sectarian attacks, in an unusually candid admission of the scale of the security challenge facing the country.

Ultra-conservative Muslims bulldozed shrines sacred to Sufi Muslims in Tripoli and the western city of Zlitan on Friday and Saturday, stoking fears of the spread of factional violence following the fall of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

The government is struggling to contain scores of armed militias, many of whom took part in the revolution that toppled Gaddafi and have refused to give up their weapons.

Interior minister Fawzi Abdel A'al initially offered his resignation on Saturday after he was criticized for not doing enough to stop the Tripoli assault, which took place in broad daylight in the center of the city as security forces looked on.


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