BEIRUT

Middle East

Islamist-led militias deploy in Libya's capital

A guard stands with his weapon in front of a sports club ahead of General Khalifa Haftar's news conference in Abyar, a small town to the east of Benghazi, May 21, 2014. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

TRIPOLI: Islamist-led militias have deployed into Libya's capital, Tripoli, as a renegade general's offensive continues to split the country's government.

Witnesses saw a Misrata-based militia known as the Libyan Central Shield take positions in Tripoli early Thursday. That could provide a boost to Islamist-allied forces against Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

Hifter has been winning support from government and military units for his campaign against Islamists he accuses of tearing the country apart. The central government has described Hifter's push as a coup.

Hifter's forces attacked two militias in the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday. Militias apparently allied with him attacked Libya's parliament on Sunday and declared the body suspended.

 

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