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Libya appoints new military chief

July 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM

TRIPOLI, Libya, July 30 (UPI) -- The Libyan government said Tuesday it appointed a commander who fought during the revolution at its new military chief of staff.

The government appointed Col. Abdulsalam Jad Allah al-Salheen al-Obaidi as the new chief of staff Tuesday. His biography, published by the Libya Herald, says he's a special forces veteran who fought during the revolution against forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

He replaces Maj. Gen. Yousef al-Mangoush, who resigned in June following deadly clashes in Benghazi. He was criticized for leading a response to demonstrators upset with the influence of militias. Clashes between demonstrators and armed militias left about 30 people dead in the western port city

Obaidi's appointment follows a string of violent attacks in Benghazi. The U.N. Support Mission in Libya said Tuesday it was gravely concerned by the security situation in Libya. It said a growing number of attacks targeted political activists and diplomatic missions in the country.

The Emirati Embassy was targeted last week. A September terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi left the U.S. ambassador and three of his staff members dead. Thousands of prisoners were freed in a jailbreak from a detention center near Benghazi this week.

Rami Kaal, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told the Libyan newspaper French authorities arrived in Tripoli to help with forensic investigations into the series of attacks in Benghazi.

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