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Tight security in Libyan capital amid protests against French intervention

Libyan flag [file photo]
Libyan flag [file photo]

The UN-backed unity government has tightened up security measures in the capital Tripoli amid protests against French military intervention in the war-torn country.

The reinforcements came amid protests in Tripoli and other Libyan cities against French military intervention in the country following last week’s killing of three French troops in a helicopter crash in eastern Libya.

“We are working to secure the capital and its citizens and prevent any attempt to undermine security,” Essam al-Naes, a member of Tripoli security operations room, told Anadolu Agency.

He said troops will be deployed at the entrances of the capital and around government buildings and banks.

On Thursday, the Presidency Council of the UN-backed Libyan unity government put its security forces on a state of alert in Tripoli.

The Second Vice-President of Libya’s High Council of State, Mohamed Maazab, said Thursday that some parties were using the French military intervention and cash shortage and electricity to make “political gains”.

Libya has been locked in a state of violence and turmoil since 2011, when a bloody popular uprising ended with the ouster and death of longtime strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government — one in Tobruk and another in capital Tripoli — each of which boasts its own military capacity and legislative assembly.

Late last year, Libya’s rival governments signed a UN-backed agreement to establish a unity government in an effort to resolve the country’s six-year political standoff.

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