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Libya's new prime minister pledges to fight militants

Libya's newly appointed Prime Minister Ahmed Meitik said that his government will focus on fighting militants, securing the borders and strengthening the army with help from the international community to achieve stability, Reuters reported yesterday.

Meitik told the news agency that he wants to continue with a deal with rebels who occupy oil ports. Pointing out he would hold further talks if the agreement failed to end the closure of the four oil ports.

Meitik, a businessman who was educated in Britain, said he believes Libya will not need to borrow to cover its budget needs although the new government is still studying its financial needs and options.

Libya's third prime minister took office in March with the support of the Muslim Brotherhood, but is opposed by anti- Islamist factions who compete to control the North African country.

Meanwhile an anti-Islamist Libyan journalist Muftah Bou-Zaid, chief editor of Barneeq newspaper, was assassinated in Benghazi, the stronghold of the rebel armed groups in the east of the country, a medical source reported.

The journalist is known for publicly criticising Islamic extremist groups on Libyan television stations.

According to a close friend, Bou-Zaid's positions brought him several threats.

Since the revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi has witnessed a series of attacks and assassinations targeting military and police officers and judges but rarely journalists. No party has claimed responsibility for the attacks that are usually attributed to Islamic extremists.

Bou-Zaid and his newspaper have publically announced their support for renegade Libyan General Khalifa Haftar campaign which targeted Islamist groups on May 16, killing at least 79 people.

 

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