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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Cairo - Khaled Mahmoud

Libya Militias Refuse to Abandon Dbeibah Govt

People walk in Martyrs' Square, Tripoli, Libya, September 22, 2021. (Reuters)

Clashes erupted between rival militias in the Libyan capital Tripoli in wake of attempts by the parliament to oust the Government of National Unity (GNU), headed by Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, and appoint a replacement.

Local sources said a member of "Brigade 777" was killed in the fighting with the "deterrence force" that broke out suddenly on Friday. Both groups are affiliated with the GNU, which has yet to comment on the unrest.

Video broadcast by local media captured the moment the gunfire erupted. Witnesses said that members of Brigade 777 had attacked judicial police positions in the capital.

Meanwhile, media reports said 80 lawmakers support the appointment of former interior minister Fathi Bashagha as prime minister.

The legislature is scheduled to meet at its Tobruk headquarters on Monday.

The east-based parliament's attempt to oust the GNU has been opposed by 33 loyalist militia leaders in Tripoli and Misrata. They issued a joint statement on Friday expressing their rejection of attempts to remove the government.

Describing themselves as the "military and security forces", they said priority in Libya should be given to constitutional work, national reconciliation and unifying the military.

They believed that failure to meet these commitments led to the recent postponement of the presidential and parliamentary elections.

They charged that a lack of clear solution to the crisis has led rivals to believe that resolving it lies in changing the government, ignoring all other problems and the roots of their causes.

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