Tripoli military chief urges illegal arms crackdown

TRIPOLI Mon Oct 3, 2011 3:00pm EDT

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TRIPOLI Oct 3 (Reuters) - The military commander of Tripoli, a key figure in the revolution that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, urged residents on Monday to restore stability to Libya's capital by putting an end to the presence of unlicensed weapons.

Abdelhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council, told a news conference, through an interpreter: "The city has started feeling that the stability and security of the early days ... has flipped and they have started worrying and their stability became scary."

"We need from everyone who is worried and concerned about Tripoli and its stability to help us to restore stability, so we need to stop all illegal arms."

Belhadj also called for the full restoration of education and health services, saying it was important that schools and hospitals restart normal operations.

He added: "This press conference is to express the view of Tripoli's people who saw bad times in the past 42 years and who are now looking for a better future and a free life, with stability and security, with justice and equality." (Writing by William Maclean; Editing by Peter Millership)

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