Libya General Says Pro-Coup Rallies Give Him ‘Mandate’

Vows to Rid Libya of 'Fundamentalists'

Rallies endorsing Libyan coup leader Gen. Khalifa Hifter were held today in Tripoli and Benghazi, and were met by counter-demonstrations backing parliament, as the divided post-Gadhafi nation grows ever more polarized.

Gen. Hifter presented the rallies as his “mandate to fight terrorism,” and vowed to continue on with his military operations nationwide until the country is cleansed of “fundamentalists.”

The leader of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, Gen. Hifter attacked parliament two weeks ago, seizing the governing body and declaring it dissolved, claiming that it was run by Islamists.

Hifter’s forces are facing a growing array of rival militias, which oppose the takeover and are loyal to parliament. The nation seems to be slipping ever-closer to a civil war.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.