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14:59, 24 May 2018 Thursday
Update: 11:49, 25 May 2014 Sunday

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40 Libyan MPs pledge support to renegade general Haftar
40 Libyan MPs pledge support to renegade general Haftar

Haftar wants the parliament's mandate assigned to another constitution-writing body

World Bulletin/News Desk

Forty members of Libya's General National Congress (parliament) announced late Sunday their support to military operations launched by renegade army general Khalifa Haftar.

In a televised statement read out by MP Abu Bakr al-Rajbani, the lawmakers said they no longer support Premier-elect Ahmed Maiteeq.

The Libyan parliament has a total of 182 members.

Forces loyal to Haftar recently took up arms against militias serving as part of Libya's regular army.

Haftar says his campaign, dubbed "Operation Dignity," is aimed at "purging" Libya of "extremists."

Libya's government, however, has called the move a "coup" against constitutional legitimacy.

Haftar argues that the parliament's mandate must be assigned to another constitution-writing body.

A spokesperson for Haftar's Operations Room on Saturday warned the interim parliament against convening, dismissing the legislature as "conspiring".

Supporters and opponents of Haftar staged protests in the capital Tripoli on Friday.

2 Libyan civilians injured in Benghazi blast

Two civilians were injured in an explosion of a booby-trapped car outside the military command headquarters in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk, a senior official said.

The official, who asked not to be named, said the two victims were passing through at the time of the bombing late on Saturday.

He said the car was placed close to the main gate of the command headquarters hours before the blast.

The official accused people who oppose the decision of the command to join renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar of standing behind the explosion.

The chief of the military command in Tobruk had earlier said his troops would join Haftar.

Forces loyal to Haftar recently took up arms against militias serving as part of Libya's regular army.

Libya has been suffering from growing violence and lawlessness since the 2011 uprising that ended the autocracy of longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi.


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