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New military chief takes charge in troubled Libya

July 31, 2013 at 12:23 PM

TRIPOLI, Libya, July 31 (UPI) -- The Libyan government confirmed Wednesday its new military chief of staff was sworn in amid a heightened state of emergency.

Abdulsalam Jad Allah al-Salheen al-Obaidi was named as the new military chief of staff Tuesday. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of major general and later sworn in by members of the General National Congress, the Libya Herald reported Wednesday.

He replaces Maj. Gen. Yousef al-Mangoush, who resigned in June following deadly clashes in Benghazi between security forces and demonstrators. The Libyan newspaper said Ahmed Farage al-Barnawi, the chief of a security force in Benghazi, was killed in a car bomb attack Tuesday. His 4-year-old son was injured in the attack.

Libya has struggled to maintain a sense of security since the end of civil war in 2011. A democratic government took over after longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed after falling into rebel hands.

The U.N. Support Mission in Libya said it condemned the latest acts of violence "in the strongest terms."

"UNSMIL calls upon the State authorities to intensify their efforts to address the security challenges that Libya is facing and appeals to all Libyans, men and women, at this juncture in the history of their country to unite in confronting the risks threatening their safety and security and the country's stability," it said Tuesday.

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