Libya closes southern borders

Dec. 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM

TRIPOLI, Libya, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The Libyan government said it was closing land borders with four of its southern neighbors in an effort to contain growing violence.

The Tripoli Post reports four policeman were killed Sunday in the former rebel stronghold of Benghazi. The city's police chief was assassinated in November and, in September, attacks on the U.S. consulate there left U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three staff members dead.

The country's National Congress issued an order Sunday for the "temporary closure of the land borders with Chad, Niger, Sudan and Algeria pending new regulations," the Post reports.

Government forces recently recaptured Bani Walid, a former stronghold of late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, from area militias. The Post, however, reports that three members of a security force were killed during an investigation.

The Libyan government is under pressure to address crimes allegedly committed by former regime officials. National security and a wide array of internal rivalries, meanwhile, are testing the new administration.

Tarek Mitri, head of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya, told the Security Council last month the country has a long political road ahead as it transitions from autocracy to democracy.

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