BENGHAZI, Libya, June 16 Libya has banned
overnight car traffic in the eastern city of Benghazi to try to
stem rising violence and anarchy, security officials said on
The North African oil producer is struggling with growing
turmoil, with the government and parliament in Tripoli unable to
control the militias, tribes and Islamists who helped oust
Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but are now defying state authority.
That is especially true for Benghazi, home to several oil
companies, where security has deteriorated steadily since last
year as militias roam around unchallenged, particularly at
night. Car bombs have become common.
The situation has worsened since a renegade general a month
ago declared war on Islamist militias such as the Ansar
al-Sharia group, which is active in Benghazi. More than 100
people have been killed since then.
In an effort to regain control, a state security operations
centre said in a statement it has banned cars from travelling in
Libya's second-largest city from midnight until 6:00 a.m.
A security spokesman said the move was due to worsening
security and a rise in crime, adding that state forces would set
up checkpoints at night.
Libya's army and security forces, still in training since
Gaddafi's overthrow, have said several times they plan to
improve security in Benghazi by rolling out more forces, but any
action has been short-lived.
Public life in Benghazi has almost come to a standstill,
with the city's airport and universities closed since retired
general Khalifa Haftar started his campaign in May.
Most nations have closed their consulates in Benghazi since
the U.S. ambassador was killed in an Islamist assault on the
U.S. consulate in September 2012.
(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli and Feras Bosalum; Writing by
Ulf Laessing; Editing by Eric Walsh)