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Libya elects new army chief

Libyan parliament elects new army chief of staff from among seven candidates
An army headquarter's building in Tripoli, Libya on 21 August (AA).

The Libyan parliament on Sunday elected Abdel-Razeq al-Nazouri as a new army chief of staff, replacing Jad Allah al-Obeidi.

"Al-Nazouri won 88 votes from among 124 lawmakers who attended Sunday's evening session," lawmaker Essa al-Oreibi told Anadolu Agency.

Members of the Libyan parliament chose Nazouri from among seven candidates during a Saturday session before the announcement of the new army chief of staff, reported Al-Misriyoon.

Hailing from al-Marj city in north-eastern Libya, al-Nazouri had been jailed for 13 years under the regime of former president Muammar Gaddafi.

The appointment comes amid chaos in the country, which has been ravaged by violence since Gaddafi's ouster and subsequent killing in 2011.

On Saturday, the Libya Shield militia said it gained full control of the Tripoli airport after flushing out fighters loyal to Al-Qaaqaa and Al-Sawaaq.

Libya Shield is widely seen as a pro-Islamist militia that launched the "Dawn of Libya" operation with the stated aim of restoring government buildings and palaces of the former Muammar Gaddafi regime from militiamen who had occupied these sites for the past three years.

In a Sunday statement, the parliament labelled the Ansar al-Sharia militia and groups that participated in the "Dawn of Libya" operation as "terrorist groups that fight the legitimacy of the state".

The elected, Islamist-dominated Libyan parliament, which is based in Tobruk because of violence in Libya's main cities, has repeatedly called for the militia groups wielding power in the country to disband the join the nascent national army.

But so far, few have shown a willingness to disarm.

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