Libyan leader vows to stand against militia

AP News
Posted: Feb 28, 2013 12:08 PM

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zidan is calling on militias to evacuate their buildings and headquarters, vowing that his government will be decisive in dealing with the armed groups that he says are "hijacking" the country.

After the fall of Libya's dictator Moammar Gadhafi, armed groups including rebels who battled Gadhafi's forces during eight-month civil war, posed a challenge to transitional authorities struggling to transform them into a unified national military and police force.

During a police graduation ceremony Thursday in Tripoli, Zidan said the state "will not be lenient and we will not permit hijacking of Tripoli or Benghazi or any other city."

Libya's newly appointed Interior Minister Ashour Shwayel says the number of policemen, including those who are inactive, is 120,000 and thousands are to join in coming weeks.