UPDATE 2-Libyan interior minister resigns over "interference"

Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:47am EDT

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TRIPOLI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Libya's Interior Minister Mohammed Khalifa al-Sheikh stepped down on Sunday in protest against what he saw as interference in his work by the prime minister and parliament, a lawmaker said.

The ministry has come under increasing pressure to deal with violence that has persisted since the 2011 war that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. The oil-producing state is still awash with weapons and militias who have clashed with security forces.

Al-Sharif al-Wafi, a member of the Libyan General National Congress, told Reuters Sheikh had submitted his resignation to the cabinet.

"He said that he didn't have any understanding with the prime minister and that he didn't have enough mandate to carry out his work," Wafi said. "He also complained that some members of the congress interfered."

He did not go into details about what kind of work had been disrupted.

An official at Prime Minister Ali Zeidan's office said the premier has accepted the resignation and appointed one of his deputies, Sadiq Abdelkarim Abdulrahman Kreim, to step in until a replacement was found.

Sheikh, a former Tripoli police colonel, took up his post in May after his predecessor Ashour Shuail resigned.

On Saturday, a bomb blast ripped through the garden wall of the Egyptian consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi on Saturday, injuring a security guard who needed hospital treatment, witnesses said.

U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi last year after Islamist gunmen attacked the U.S. consulate during a protest by a mob angry over a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad. (Reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by Sami Aboudi and Andrew Heavens)

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