Africa

Libya violence: Western powers urge cessation

Fighters of Libya"s Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) drive their pick up truck mounted with a machine gun near a burnt car, south of the town of Wershfana on October 13, 2014 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The newly elected government is battling Islamist rebels who helped to topple Gaddafi in 2011

The US and four European allies - Britain, France, Germany and Italy - have called for an immediate end to the fighting in Libya.

In a statement, they said there was "no military solution" to the crisis.

Dozens of people have recently been killed in the eastern city of Benghazi in fighting between Islamist rebels and government forces.

Libya has been in a state of flux since Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011.

The statement said that Libya's hard-fought freedom was at risk if country continued to be a safe haven for Libyan and international terrorist groups.

It continued, saying that the country's security challenges could only be addressed by regular armed forces accountable to a democratic government.

It also expressed concern over an operation started on Wednesday by retired general Khalifa Haftar against Islamist rebels.

Islamist militant groups including Ansar al-Sharia, listed as a terrorist organisation by countries including the US, have been battling government forces, and have driven newly elected parliament members into hiding.

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