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Libya army chief quits after unrest: congress members
by Staff Writers
Tripoli (AFP) June 09, 2013

Two FARC rebels, Colombian soldier killed in battle
Bogota (AFP) June 7, 2013 - Two FARC rebels and a Colombian special forces soldier were killed in a firefight that broke out in the country's southwest when the army occupied a guerrilla camp, authorities said Friday.

The incident occurred on Thursday afternoon in Cauca department in Caldono municipality, the army said in a statement.

"Two terrorists who were in possession of long range rifle-type weapons were neutralized," it said, also confirming the soldier's death.

Following a search of the area, an M-60 machine gun, five rifles of varying calibers, more than 400 rounds of ammunition and a "considerable quantity of material used in the manufacture of explosives" was recovered, the army said.

The FARC -- the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -- is the country's largest leftist guerrilla group, and the insurgency it has waged since 1964 is the oldest in Latin America.

Peace talks between the rebels and the government began last November but are currently in recess until June 11. So far they have addressed only the first item on a five-point agenda -- land reform.

Land distribution was one of the triggers of the decades-old conflict in Colombia, where there is gaping inequality between wealthy landowners and poor peasants.

The FARC declared a unilateral ceasefire in November but ended it after two months, when the government refused to follow suit. The military and the rebels have clashed sporadically since then.

The Libyan army chief of staff, General Yusef al-Mangoush, resigned on Sunday after deadly unrest in Benghazi, members of the country's highest political authority the General National Congress said.

"The chief of staff presented his resignation that was accepted by the congress," GNC member Abdullah al-Gmati said, adding that the assembly had already been preparing a vote to suspend Mangoush.

His resignation was approved by a vote in the GNC, another member of the congress said.

Gmati also said that the GNC has given the government two weeks to put into place a plan to dissolve armed groups and integrate their members individually into the regular security forces.

Mangoush's resignation came a day after deadly clashes between former rebels and anti-militia demonstrators in the eastern city of Benghazi killed at least 31 people and wounded more than 100.

Clashes erupted on Saturday after dozens of demonstrators, some of them armed, tried to force the powerful "Shield of Libya" brigade from its Benghazi barracks, an AFP correspondent reported.

They encircled the headquarters and called on regular security forces to step in, saying they wanted rid of armed militias in the city.

The "Shield of Libya" is mostly made up of rebels who battled dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, and is formally under defence ministry control.

Mangoush had been forced to defend himself against allegations that he was defending and legitimising armed groups made up of former rebels, who still wield much influence in part of the country.

In May, the GNC had already decided to replace Mangoush, but said it had yet to decide on criteria for his replacement.


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