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Protest against Khalifa sparks clashes in Tripoli

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Protest against Khalifa sparks clashes in Tripoli


Clashes continue in Libya between supporters of General Khalifa Hifter, who has decided to take on the Islamist militants who have made the country all-but ungovernable, and opponents of the military leader.

A demonstration against Khalifa in Tripoli broke down into scuffles and running battles when Khalifa supporters arrived and tried to drive them off the streets.

Since the fall of the Gaddafi dictatorship in 2011 militias and the army have struggled for control and two rival governments have struggled to install rule of law. Khalifa, a retired former Gaddafi loyalist who broke with him in the 1980s, has decided to take on the militias in Benghazi, and there has been fighting there in a campaign dubbed “Dignity” since mid-May.

Elsewhere the home of military leader Hasheem Bashir, who has been charged with integrating militias into Libya’s armed forces, was severely damaged by a huge car bomb that also injured several people. He too has been increasingly seeking to distance himself from the more hardline Islamist militias.

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