(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Libya's toothless outgoing government admitted yesterday from its safe refuge in the east of the country that it has in effect lost control of Tripoli to armed militias.
The interim government led by prime minister Abdullah Al Thinni, which resigned last week, said armed groups, mostly Islamist militias, were in control of ministries and blocking access to government workers.
"Ministry and state offices in Tripoli have been occupied by armed militias who are preventing government workers from entering and are threatening their superiors," the government said.
It said the interim government was in contact with officials and "trying to ensure the continuity of services from afar".
Libya has been sliding into chaos since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed three years ago, with interim authorities confronting powerful militias which fought to oust the veteran dictator.
The government announced last week it had tendered its resignation to parliament, days after a rival Islamist administration was created. The parliament, which was elected in June, and the government are operating out of eastern Libya for security reasons.
A rival body, the General National Congress, has named pro-Islamist figure Omar Al Hassi to form a "salvation government".
The elected parliament voted yesterday to task Thinni with forming a streamlined new government, the official news agency Lana reported.
He was named to form an 18-member team, down from the outgoing lineup's number of around 30, it said, adding that seven of the new ministers would put together a crisis cabinet.