World Bulletin / News Desk
Libya's government, seeking to assert its authority over private militias following the killing of U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, placed two powerful freelance units in the city under the command of full-time army officers on Monday.
Commanders of two units which have, with official sanction, been providing security since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi were ordered removed and the men of the February 17 Brigade and Rafallah al-Sahati militia put under army orders. A third unit, Libya's Shield, would also change leadership, an official said.
No comment was immediately available from Fawzi Bukatif, whose command of February 17 made him one of the most powerful men in oil-rich eastern Libya since the uprising against Gaddafi last year; nor was there a reaction from Ismail al-Salabi, who had led the heavily armed, pro-government Rafallah al-Sahati.