In this undated photo Libyan army vehicles converge on protesters in front of of parliament, firing their heavy machine guns in the air in an attempt to disperse them in Tripoli, Libya. (AP/Paul Schemm)
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A former chief of Libya's army called for the country's Parliament and government to be suspended in an unusual video message Friday that many derided as a futile attempt to declare a coup, reflecting the chaos in the North African nation.The video statement by Gen. Khalifa Hifter prompted mockery by many, with jokes that the military is too weak to carry out a coup and the government is in too much disarray to be overthrown anyway. The militias are divided along tribal, geographical lines with some lining up behind Zidan – such as militias from the western city of Zintan – and others backing his opponents in Parliament, such as the militias of the western city of Misrata.It is not clear what support Hifter has in the military, or other armed factions.In the video, aired by several Libyan TV networks, Hifter appears in his military uniform standing in front of the map of Libya and the national flag and claims to speak for the "general command of the Libyan army". A spokesman for the military chief of staff, Col. Ali al-Shekhli, told the same network that Hifter has no force that supports him in "this coup".Hifter was once the head of the army under Gadhafi but defected in the 1980s.
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