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Libya's outgoing parliament okays Hassi's govt

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Libya’s outgoing interim parliament, which mandate expired earlier this year, gave confidence to the cabinet line-up presented by Omar al-Hassi, the body’s spokesman said.

Al-Hassi’s government would include 18 ministers, General National Congress spokesman Omar Humeidan said in press statements, without giving details about the session.

The Congress started reconvening last week – despite handing over legislative authority the recently-elected House of Representatives – and tasked al-Hassi with forming a government of “national salvation.”

The move came one day after the House tasked Abdullah al-Thinni with drawing up an emergency government after approving his resignation before reappointing him to the premiership.

Al-Thinni would present his new cabinet lineup to parliament by the end of this week, MP Eissa al-Oriebi told Anadolu Agency, noting that the new government would be granted the full mandate of an emergency government.

The developments are expected to lead to further polarization of the country gripped by political turmoil since the ouster and death in 2011 of long-ruling strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

While two active parliaments and governments are vying for power, the Libya Shield, which is widely seen as a pro-Islamist militia, and rival Al-Qaaqaa and Al-Sawaaq militias have been locking horns in and around Tripoli, almost totally destroying the airport and wreaking havoc in the flashpoint city. The fighting left dozens dead and hundreds injured.

Benghazi, Libya’s largest city, is also witnessing deadly battles between troops loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar and Islamist militias.

Pro-Haftar plane crashes in Libya

Five people were killed and 10 others injured when a Libyan warplane run by forces loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar crashed in the eastern city of Tobruk on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Gamal Abdel-Nasser air base told Anadolu Agency that the plane crashed at the entry of Tobruk as it was performing an aerobatic to commemorate late commander of the base Ibrahim al-Manfi who was killed on Friday – also in an air crash.

The spokesman, who asked not to be named, did not state the fate of the plane’s pilot or the cause of the crash – the third within Haftar’s air force since mid-May.

However, an official with Tobruk hospital said that five people, including the pilot, were killed and 10 others injured in the crash.

On Friday, a Libyan militia claimed to have shot down al-Manfi’s warplane in the eastern city of Al-Al-Bayda’ – a claim swiftly dismissed by Haftar’s camp.

The Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, a Benghazi-based militia, said then the plane was shot down amid the “revolutionaries’ ongoing fight against Haftar’s campaign.”

Haftar spokesman Mohamed Hegazi confirmed that one of their planes had crashed in the city, but attributed it to a “technical malfunction.”

In May, Haftar declared war on armed Islamist militias based in eastern Libya, dubbing his campaign “Operation Dignity” – the stated aim of which was to “purge” Libya of “extremists.”

At the time, the government in Tripoli described Haftar’s campaign as a “coup attempt.”

After serving as army chief-of-staff under Muammar Gaddafi, Haftar spent nearly two decades in the United States in exile before returning to Libya in 2011 to join the uprising against the autocratic ruler.

World Bulletin

This article was originally published here.

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