Libyan military moves to secure Tripoli from Benghazi militias
Special to WorldTribune.com
CAIRO — Libya has launched its new military in a crackdown on militias in the capital of the North African state.
Officials said the Army deployment began in mid-January with the establishment of checkpoints on roads to Tripoli. They said commanders determined that the militias were expected to bring reinforcements from around the country, particularly Benghazi.
A car burns after it was ambushed by gunmen in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Jan. 18. /Reuters
Officials said the Libyan Army was deployed in several parts of Tripoli
to regain control of the capital from the nation’s powerful militias. They said the operation was conducted by the Defense Ministry and Interior Ministry in what could last several weeks.
“The first steps would be to restore a military presence in troubled parts of the city,” an official said. “We are prepared for any confrontations.”
“There is strong cooperation and coordination between the Army and police,” the official said.
The government has sent representatives to neighborhoods throughout Tripoli in an appeal to cooperate with security forces. They said the operation was being aided by Western advisers assigned to help improve security in the country.
The military opertiton came amid reports of dissension within the military. In mid-January, a shootout erupted between military factions at the Air Force base in Tobrouk. There were no reports of serious injuries