Libyans security forces patrol on August 23, 2018 near the site of an attack on a checkpoint in the city of Zliten, 170 km east of the capital Tripoli. AFP / Mahmud TURKIA
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A bout of fighting in Libya's capital has laid bare the fragility of a militia cartel that had brought a veneer of stability to the city and encouraged the gradual return of foreign diplomats and plans for elections in December. Major battles have become rarer in Tripoli since last year as a handful of armed factions aligned with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord consolidated their control.Fighting Monday and Tuesday pitted the Seventh Brigade, or Kaniyat, from Tarhouna, a town 65 kilometers southeast of Tripoli, against the Tripoli Revolutionaries' Brigades and the Nawasi, two of the capital's largest armed groups.Since last summer an ex-prime minister, the mayor of Tripoli and the head of the state religious authority have been among a series of senior figures to be abducted then released by militias.Prominent Libyans based abroad have said they seek the protection of armed militia factions, not the government, when they travel to Tripoli.
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