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Libyan Militias Surrender Tripoli Bases

Following deadly clashes last weekend Libyan militias surrender Tripoli bases to military, possible signs of violence toning down.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 11/22/2013, 11:19 AM

Militiamen in Tripoli, Libya
Militiamen in Tripoli, Libya
Reuters

The surge of violence that sparked last weekend in Libya's capital city of Tripoli is showing signs of slowing as various militias surrendered their Tripoli bases to the Libyan military on Thursday.

Last weekend 43 were killed in clashes as the Misrata militia refused to leave the Tripoli bases it has continued occupying since former dictator Muammad Qaddafi's ouster in 2011. 

The handover of bases was carried out in a series of ceremonies, and included sites such as the Mitiga airbase and the Islamic Call Center, reports CNN.

Further signifying a cooling of hostilities, the Misrata militias withdrew from Tripoli earlier this week, apparently conceding to the local council of the city of Misrata's call on Sunday to withdraw within 3 days.

However the trouble may not have completely passed for the Libyan capital. Some militias have remained in Tripoli, and it is unclear where those that surrendered their bases will go now.

Nevertheless Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, when asked if the handover of bases was more than just ceremony, said "the weapons that were in the hands of these groups was the security threat and now this threat has disappeared."

Meanwhile on Sunday a senior US military official revealed plans to train up to 7,000 Libyan security force members to combat the instability.

The violence this week reached the point where one Libyan member of parliament was caught with a grenade in her handbag as she was entering the Tripoli city hall. She claimed to be carrying it for "self-defense."