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Defense minister: Libya is making progress in rebuilding army

BENGHAZI, Libya, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Libyan Defense Minister Abdullah al-Thini said he is making progress with the rebuilding the army by recruiting young men and reorganizing units.

Thini was questioned by Congress Monday and said the retirement law was being activated so that those more than 60 years of age would retire, making room for younger recruits.

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He also said he is reorganizing military units, many of which only existed on paper and were not active.

Documents indicated 170,000 military personnel were receiving wages, but Thini said the number is actually much lower, the Libya Herald reported.

He also said the Benghazi Joint Security Room has been reorganized, and now consists of only one chain of command.

Thini also said on live TV Monday Col. Awad al-Saiti has been appointed military governor.

He also noted there has been no opposition from the government or Congress concerning the army's development, the Herald said.

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