World Bulletin/News Desk
Libyan leader Mohammed Magarief has said not all areas of the North African country have been fully "liberated", one year after the capture and death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Libya was declared "liberated" a few days after his death on Oct. 20, 2011, and while its new rulers have led the nation to elections, they have struggled to impose their authority on a country awash with weapons.
Speaking on Libyan television late on Friday, the national congress leader singled out the town of Bani Walid, some 160 kms (100 miles) south of Tripoli, a former Gaddafi stronghold which has seen deadly clashes in the last few days as the army struggles to impose order.
"The campaign to liberate the country has not been fully completed," Magarief said.
He cited "delays" in the formation of the army and police and the failure to disarm and integrate former rebels.
"This lack of care has led to the spread of chaos that has lured the old regime to infiltrate the country's institutions inside and to conspire with the regime loyalists on the outside," Magarief said.
"And the chaos has lured others to kidnappings, stealing, and to create non-legitimate prisons. What has happened in Bani Walid in the last few days falls under this ... it has become a safe haven for a large number of those who are outside of the law."
Militias, aligned with the Defence Ministry, have shelled the hilltop town of 70,000 for several days and a spokesman for Bani Walid fighters, Colonel Salem al-Wa'er said fighting had started again on Saturday morning.
Many of those in the militias were from the rival town of Misrata, which was enraged by the death of rebel fighter Omran Shaban after two months in detention in Bani Walid.
Shaban, from Misrata, was the man who found Gaddafi hiding in a drain pipe in Sirte on Oct. 20, 2011.
Libya's congress ordered the Defence and Interior Ministries to find those responsible for abducting Shaban and suspected of torturing him to death. It gave Bani Walid a deadline to hand them over.
The army chief of staff said on Thursday the army was heading to the town to try and restore order.
"This is not targeting a region, a tribe, or unarmed civilians but outlawed men," Magarief said.
Tensions between Misrata and Bani Walid underscore the challenge Libya's new rulers face in reconciling groups with long-running grievances.
More than 15,000 demonstrated against racism and fascism in Helsinki today
Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed his deputy chief of staff, Vyacheslav Volodin, to be chairman of the new State Duma
Angela Merkel, facing backlash over her refugee policy has met with European leaders in Vienna on Saturday to explore new measures to help the continent deal with its influx of refugees
The Democratic Republic of Congo has seen violent clashes this week between security forces and demonstrators demanding the resignation of President Joseph Kabila.
Attacks on shelters housing refugees is set to double, with much blame directed to the rise of the far right parties in Europe
Keith Lamont Scott, a disabled 43 year old man was shot dead by police officers in Charlotte, North Carolina in the latest round of carnage by US police officers on African American men
With 61.8 pct of the votes, Jeremy Corbyn set to continue as leader of UK's main opposition party
Hamas should be removed from the EU's terrorism blacklist, a top European Court of Justice (ECJ) advisor has recommended.
Abe speaks with Castro brothers about North Korea’s weapons program, Japanese-Cuban trade and debt forgiveness
The populist AfD party has raised controversy once again on Thursday when it was discovered one had called refugees "parasites" and another had trafficked in Nazi memorabilia
While tourism in general remains low, tourists from nearby Turkey to Lesbos decline even more post July 15 defeated coup
Could the election results break the political deadlock in Spain that has endured over 9 months without a government?
Protesters in Johannesburg call for immediate release of all Palestinian political prisoners
Gaza-based resistance group voices support for one-year-old ‘Jerusalem Uprising’ against Israeli occupation