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Libya's newly elected parliament sworn in office

Libya's newly-elected parliament held its first session on Monday afternoon in the eastern city of Tobruk amid fierce fighting in the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

The session took place as rival militias continued fighting around Tripoli's international airport in an attempt to take control of the air hub. Also in Benghazi renegade General Khalifa Haftar's operation "dignity" against Islamist militant groups is still going on, in which warplanes are used in attacking militant strongholds.

The new parliament held its first session in a heavily guarded hotel in the eastern city of Tobruk, as the fierce fighting in the capital Tripoli and Benghazi made it unsafe for a parliamentary meeting.

The new parliament replaces Libya's former General National Congress amid poor security conditions with many rival armed groups out of the government's control.

According to Ministry of Health, the fighting, which started almost three weeks ago, has killed over 200 people and injured almost 1,000, while thousands more have been displaced inside and outside of the country.

After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been suffering a security vacuum as it desperately attempts to make a democratic political transition.

[Source: Xinhua, Tripoli, 05Aug14]

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