TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Gunmen from an al-Qaida inspired militia have taken over radio and television stations in the central Libyan city of Sirte, a security official said.
He said the seizure of the buildings happened on Thursday after militants from Ansar al-Sharia had warned the station to stop broadcasting music.
The group, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, is accused of being involved in a deadly 2012 attack on a U.S. mission and annex in Benghazi. Its branch in the city of Derna has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
On Saturday, a bomb hit a pipeline leading to the country's largest oil field, al-Sarir, disrupting the flow of oil to ships at a coastal terminal, oil officials said.
The official said residents of Sirte went about their business after the seizure and traffic flowed normally. A resident said that the radio station had begun playing religious songs and lessons.
All spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
Widespread militia violence has plunged Libya into chaos less than four years after a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
The country's post-Gadhafi transition has collapsed, with two rival governments and parliaments — each backed by different militias — ruling in the country's eastern and western regions. The elected parliament was never allowed to properly convene due to a takeover of the capital, Tripoli, by Islamic and tribal militias. That parliament has been forced to function in the eastern city of Tobruk, while the pre-election parliament has declared itself legitimate and remains in Tripoli.