Rival militias wage turf war near Libyan capital

By REUTERS
December 3, 2011 20:15

 
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JANZOUR, Libya  - One local official was killed and a militia base reduced to ruins in a clash between rival armed groups near the Libyan capital, the latest flare-up of tension between militias that is destabilizing the new Libya.

Two months after Muammar Gaddafi was killed, Libya's new government is still unable to impose its authority on the ground, leaving security in the hands of militias which answer only to themselves and often wage turf wars with their rivals.

The violence in Janzour, a town about 17 km (10 miles) west of the capital, demonstrated that these militias remain the biggest threat to Libya's security despite attempts by the newly-formed interim government to get them under control.

The incident began early on Friday morning, when Ashraf Abdelsalam Al-Marni Swayha, deputy head of the Janzour military council, approached a checkpoint in the town with his driver.

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