Libya Steps Up Fight Against Militias
Tripoli Seeks Citizen Aid to Battle ‘Hundreds of Little Gadhafis,’ as It Strives to Centralize Power
By MARIA ABI-HABIB, WSJ, Nov. 26, 2013
TRIPOLI—Libya’s fledgling security forces battled militants with suspected links to al Qaeda for a second straight day on Tuesday during a new offensive that marks a pivotal moment in the government’s attempt to consolidate its power.
A day earlier, state forces drove Ansar al-Shariah out of its stronghold in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the U.S. believes the militant group orchestrated the attack on its mission last year that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Then on Tuesday, the fighting spread to Derna…
…Persistent militia violence is testing the government’s plan to bring an estimated 231,000 militants operating across Libya into the national security forces by early 2014….
…residents of Derna, where Ansar al-Shariah is influential, say they are growing frustrated with the group’s strict enforcement of Islamic rule, stripping school curricula of English and forcing women to cover their faces.