* Assembly meets in remote town; militias control Tripoli
* Government says has lost control of ministries in capital
* Kerry calls PM Thinni, urges reconciliation, govt says
(Updates Benghazi death toll)
By Ayman al-Warfalli and Ahmed Elumami
BENGHAZI, Libya, Sept 1 Libya's parliament
reappointed Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni on Monday as the
government lost control of ministries in the capital where armed
groups have taken over and a separate parliament has claimed
In another sign of the oil producer sliding deeper into
anarchy, Islamist militants launched a new attempt to seize
Benghazi's civilian and military airport from army forces allied
to a renegade general. At least 13 soldiers from Haftar's forces
were killed and 45 wounded, medics said.
The parliament that was elected in June moved to the remote
eastern city of Tobruk last month as rival armed groups battled
for Tripoli. An alliance led by forces from the western city of
Misrata seized control of the capital last week.
The reappointment of Thinni, a former defence minister and
career soldier who has been prime minister since March, sets him
the challenge of reasserting government control over a country
where many fear a descent into full-scale civil war.
Parliamentary spokesman Faraj Hashem said 64 of the 106
representatives present had voted for Thinni and the house had
instructed him "to form a crisis government within a period of
time not exceeding two weeks".
U.S. Foreign Minister John Kerry called Thinni before his
appointment to give his support, the Libyan government said in a
statement. Both stressed the need for national dialogue and
reconciliation, it added.
In a stark illustration of the government's loss of control
in Tripoli, a video posted online showed dozens of men, some
armed, crowding around a swimming pool at an U.S. embassy
building, with some diving in from a nearby building.
Washington said on Sunday that an armed group had taken over
an abandoned annex of the U.S. Embassy but had not broken into
the main compound. All embassy staff were evacuated last month.
"OUT OF OUR CONTROL"
Late on Sunday, the government released a statement
admitting it had lost its grip on many levers of power.
"We announce that most ministries, institutions and state
bodies in the capital Tripoli are out of our control," it said,
adding that armed groups had prevented staff entering some
All ministries, the central bank and the state-owned
National Oil Corp are located in the capital.
The victory of Misrata forces in Tripoli has not yet
affected oil production; but traders say ownership of the oil
might be subject to legal challenges if those forces take
control of the central bank, where crude revenues are booked.
The groups now controlling Tripoli, some of which have
Islamist leanings, refuse to recognise the parliament in Tobruk,
which has a strong liberal and federalist presence.
They have reconvened the previous parliament, the General
National Congress, in which Islamists were strongly represented.
The government said in a statement that armed factions had
attacked a Tripoli camp for internally displaced people from the
western town of Tawergha.
It did not name the attackers. The Misrata factions accuse
the Tawergha people of having backed Libya's former dictator,
Muammar Gaddafi, who was deposed in a NATO-backed uprising in
The fluid situation in Tripoli has been exacerbated by
separate clashes in the eastern port city of Benghazi where
Khalifa Haftar, a renegade general from the Libyan army, has
declared war on Islamist militants.
On Monday, loud explosions and war planes could be heard
from the area of the closed airport which Islamist forces have
been trying to seize from Haftar's forces allied to the regular
The area is one of the last positions of army special forces
after Islamists overran several camps. Residents said the
Islamists including Ansar al-Sharia were trying to enter the
Benina area home to the airport and airbase. A nearby soccer
stadium was also hit.
(Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Ralph Boulton)