Libyan parliament meets

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iol pic afr 01_LIBYA-SECURITY-_0803_11 Reuters Abu Bakar Baira, the interim head of parliament, speaks during the first session held by Libya's newly elected House of Representatives in Tobruk.

Cairo -

Libyan members of parliament convened on Monday for the first official session since the parliamentary elections in June, with the country facing the worst violence since an armed uprising toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi three years ago.

“We will prove to the world that Libya is not a failed state, but will rise very soon to become a model state with the help of her sons,” the session's head, lawmaker Abu Bakr Baira said at the beginning of the session.

Around 170 lawmakers met in the eastern port city of Tobruk, where a consultative, emergency session was held on Saturday to discuss the violence that has gripped Libya for more than two weeks.

Members of the Arab League and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference attended the inaugural session. After stopping for a short break, lawmakers are expected to convene again to take the oath.

Libya's new parliament has 200 seats, but only 188 members were elected, since the government did not organise elections in some areas plagued by unrest.

The House of Representatives takes over from the previous assembly, the General Congress, which was elected in 2012. The Congress was dominated by Islamist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood.

The sessions were moved to Tobruk because of the fighting in both the capital Tripoli and the flashpoint eastern city of Benghazi.

Rival militias have been fighting for two weeks for control of the main airport in Tripoli.

At least 200 people have been killed in the violence.

Libya's rulers have struggled to impose order since Gaddafi's ouster in 2011, with the country paralysed by political infighting and the proliferation of militias. - Sapa-dpa



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