Libya army deploys in Tripoli

2013-08-09 22:37

Tripoli - Libya's army said on Friday it had deployed reinforcements in the capital Tripoli and its suburbs to bolster security after weeks of deadly violence.

An AFP correspondent said he saw more than 100 armoured troop carriers and military vehicles mounted with machineguns and anti-aircraft guns rumble into Tripoli late on Thursday.

"Army units have been deployed in the capital and its suburbs to secure them during the Eid al-Fitr holiday [marking the end of Ramadan] and thereafter," the military said in a statement on its Facebook page.

The official Libyan news agency Lana said troops were deployed in several parts of the capital and its suburbs in a bid to "reassure people during Eid al-Fitr".

The army said the deployment was ordered by Nuri Bousahmein, the president of the General National Congress, Libya's highest political authority.

Libya has been hit by lawlessness and deadly violence since the overthrow of veteran dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a 2011 uprising.

Over the past few weeks Tripoli and its surrounds have been rocked by attacks and clashes between rival militias who helped topple Gaddafi.

Violence, including political assassinations, has also proliferated in the eastern city Benghazi, cradle of the uprising.

In the latest attack on Friday, unknown gunmen shot dead Libyan doctor Azzedine Koussos who hosted a television programme on human development.

Libya's new authorities have struggled to re-establish order and form a professional army since Gaddafi's overthrow and their efforts to woo militiamen to join the security forces have been scorned.