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Libya Unity Govt. Bid Hits Snag over Defense Portfolio

Efforts to hammer out a Libyan unity government are stumbling over the defense portfolio, an official said Wednesday, as the internationally recognized parliament set a new deadline for a line-up.

Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, with two rival administrations and armed groups fighting for control of the oil-rich country.

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Libya Seeks Extra Week to Form Unity Govt. under U.N. Deal

Libya's presidential council said Monday it needs one more week to form a national unity government, after the country's internationally recognized parliament rejected an initial line-up.

The council, chaired by prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj, had been due to submit the name of a new unity government on Wednesday for approval by the recognized parliament.

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Fear Stalks Libya's Growing Jihadist Haven

Public beheadings and roving jihadist gangs are terrifying residents in the Islamic State group's Libyan stronghold of Sirte, in an ominous sign of the movement's growing international influence.

Witnesses tell of amputations and executions in squares in Moammar Gadhafi's hometown on the Mediterranean coast, where women can no longer go out without a male guardian.

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Nigeria President Warns of Libya 'Time Bomb'

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari urged the international community on Wednesday to help end the turmoil in Libya, warning that it was creating a "strategic time bomb" for Africa and Europe.

In a speech to the European Parliament, Buhari said the situation in lawless southern Libya was particularly alarming as it was creating a flow of arms affecting Nigeria and other countries.

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U.S., Italy Warn of Rising IS Threat in Libya but Strikes off Agenda

The United States and Italy warned Tuesday that the Islamic State (IS) group is expanding its reach, threatening to seize Libya and launch attacks in Western countries.

But as representatives from the 23 countries of the U.S.-led coalition battling the jihadists' self-declared "caliphate" reviewed their progress at talks in Rome, Italy and France made it clear military action against IS's Libyan wing is not on the immediate agenda.

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New Libya Govt. Must Have Tripoli HQ, Says U.N. Envoy

U.N. envoy Martin Kobler on Monday urged the speedy formation of a Libyan national unity government and said it should be installed in the capital Tripoli, Algerian state media reported.

Kobler said the turmoil that has wracked Libya since the 2011 revolution that toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi had created a "political and military vacuum" and helped the spread of the Islamic State group, the APS news agency said.

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Obama Looks to Take Fight to Islamic State in Libya

U.S. President Barack Obama has asked key advisors to draw up options for ratcheting up the fight against the Islamic State group, including opening a new front in Libya.

Eighteen months after a U.S.-led coalition began airstrikes against IS in Iraq and Syria, multiple administration sources said Friday that the White House wants to speed up and broaden the effort.

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Envoy Warns Libya Peace Process Slower than IS Expansion

U.N. envoy Martin Kobler expressed concerns Wednesday that Libya's political process is slower than the Islamic State group's expansion, after the country's internationally recognized authorities rejected a national unity government.

World powers have urged Libya's warring factions to endorse the unity government agreed last week under a U.N.-brokered deal aimed at ending political paralysis that has fueled the rise of jihadists.

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Report: EU Considers Sanctions for Libya Peace 'Spoilers'

The EU is considering sanctions against several Libyan figures for undermining efforts to form a national unity government, a key first step towards bringing peace to the war-torn country, European sources said Tuesday.

The European Union has repeatedly warned it would impose sanctions against anyone "spoiling" a Brussels-backed peace process, amid growing concerns Islamic State (IS) jihadists could use oil-rich Libya as a springboard to attack Europe.

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Libya Army Chief Haftar: Hero or Hindrance?

Seen as an anti-Islamist hero by some and a threat to peace by others, the fate of Libya's army chief has emerged as a stumbling block to efforts to forge a unity government.

General Khalifa Haftar, 73, presents himself as Libya's savior in the face of a growing jihadist threat, but is himself a hugely divisive figure.

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