Libya's acting Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni (3rd L, front) speaks to the media while visiting the Salah Eddin district after explosions took place at midnight, in Tripoli May 21, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)
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Fighting erupted in Libya's capital Wednesday, killing at least two people after the top air commander signaled support for a renegade general campaigning to dissolve parliament and wipe out Islamists.It was not immediately clear who started the clashes, but government figures and Islamist groups in parliament – some of them with allied militias – have become increasingly alarmed by signs of growing support for General Khalifa Hifter. Forces loyal to him stormed parliament Sunday. Western powers fear Hifter's bid to persuade army units to join his campaign will split the military and trigger more turmoil in the oil producer which is struggling to restore order three years after the fall of strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Tripoli residents reported several loud explosions early Wednesday near the Yarmouk air defense barracks after air defense top commander Juma al-Abani released a video message saying he was joining "Operation Dignity," Hifter's campaign against Islamists. Militiamen Sunday stormed the GNC, and fought for six hours with other armed groups on the airport road.They claimed loyalty to Hifter and demanded the suspension of parliament in a bid to rid Libya of hard-line Islamist lawmakers.
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