Syrian rebel fighters
Syrian rebel fightersReuters

Libyan officials recently caught several members of a Muslim extremist group as they attempted to send deadly chemical weapons to Syria, Channel 2 reports.

The report quoted Colonel Mansour al-Mazini as saying that the extremists had been caught with a container of mustard gas. The gas was confiscated by Libyan soldiers.

The collapse of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya was followed by a growth in Islamic extremist groups, as various terrorist factions fought to increase their power. Several of the groups fought against Gaddafi’s government, and are now fighting the new central government as well.

Terrorist militias pose a serious challenge to the still-weak central government, which has repeatedly – and unsuccessfully – called on them to disarm.

Dozens of extremist Islamic groups are involved in fighting in Syria, as well; some include veterans of the Libyan revolution in their ranks.

Syrian rebel groups and the Syrian government have traded allegations of chemical weapons use. The government has agreed to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile under an agreement reached with Western powers following the international outcry over a chemical attack near Damascus that killed hundreds of people.

Both sides have been accused of human rights abuses. Syrian jihadists have allegedly enlisted children to their ranks, and groups linked to Al-Qaeda are accused of running secret prisons where detainees have been tortured and killed.