Last updated: 11 November, 2013

Libya PM vows aid for security forces in restive east

Libya’s prime minister on Monday promised more arms and other resources for security forces struggling to pacify the eastern city of Benghazi after a string of deadly attacks last week.

The cradle of the 2011 revolution that toppled veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi has seen a surge in shooting and bombings targeting security forces and Western missions in recent months.

A public prosecutor and five members of the security forces were killed in a series of attacks in eastern Libya on Friday and Saturday.

During a brief visit to the region on Monday, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said “all requests made by the heads of security units will be met, including the delivery of vehicles, weapons, ammunition and other various equipment… some of which was delivered today.”

He did not provide further details on the latest delivery.

“There are those who want to sow chaos in the country to prevent the development of the state, to govern Libya in their own way and make it like Somalia,” Zeidan said.

The government has been struggling to assemble effective security forces out of the rebel brigades that emerged during the uprising.

But several former rebels and other armed groups have refused to join the security forces or lay down their arms, and have carved out their own fiefdoms across the vast and mostly desert country.

Last month Zeidan himself was kidnapped by armed men in Tripoli and held for a few hours before being released.

The head of an interior ministry anti-crime unit later boasted that he was behind the “arrest”.