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After Tripoli was transformed into a war zone for several hours on Thursday night people in Libya are accusing the government of having no control over the country.

At least two people were killed as rival militia groups fired on each other with heavy machine guns and grenades in the heart of the capital.

It brought terror to the streets of a city still recovering from the violent overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi two years ago.

One man taking part in a protest outside a mosque said: “We want this government to collapse today, before tomorrow. Last night, it was a jungle. Where was the state? We didn’t see anyone in charge.”

It is a further dramatic illustration of the chaos that can still grip Libya, post-Gaddafi.

Last month Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was briefly abducted from his hotel room by an armed group. He was released unharmed hours later. His efforts to co-opt the militia groups into Libya’s fledgling armed forces have had only limited success.

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