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Libya's New FM Takes Control of Ministry

The foreign minister of Libya's unity government on Monday formally moved into his ministerial offices in the capital Tripoli, as the Government of National Accord struggles to assert its authority.

Mohamad Taher Siala, a foreign ministry employee for three decades, "officially took up his post" at the ministry building, Libyan news agency LANA reported.

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Five Migrants Dead in Shipwreck Off Libya

At least five migrants have drowned off the Libyan coast after the heavily overcrowded boat they were sailing on overturned, the Italian navy said Wednesday, revising downwards an earlier death toll.

The navy said at least 550 people had been pulled to safety but added that the rescue operation was still underway and that the death toll could rise.

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Libyans Intercept 550 People in Boats Bound for Europe

Libyan coastguards said they detained 550 people trying to reach Europe illegally by boat on Tuesday, the second time in three days they have intercepted migrants in the same area.

"Coastguards in the west who were patrolling off the Zawiya refinery on Tuesday intercepted four large inflatables carrying around 550 illegal migrants," navy spokesman Colonel Ayoub Qassem said.

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Libya Unity Government Pleads for Arms to Fight IS

Libya's unity government urged the international community Thursday to accelerate the arming of its forces after 32 of its fighters were killed in clashes with jihadists and a car bombing.

The United States, Italy and Libya's allies and neighbors agreed in Vienna on Monday to exempt the Government of National Accord (GNA) from a U.N. arms embargo to help it confront the threat from the Islamic State (IS) group.

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African Nations Back Moves to Arm Libya Govt.

The African Union on Wednesday threw its weight behind Italian and U.S.-led moves to stabilize Libya that include arming a national unity government to fight Islamic State militants.

Western powers are also keen to see Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj's fledgling administration establish its authority over the whole country so it can actively contribute to efforts to stem the flow of mostly African migrants using Libya as a launchpad to get to Europe.

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Prosecutor Seeks 18 Years in Jail for Migrant Disaster Boat Skipper

An Italian prosecutor on Tuesday requested an 18-year prison term for the alleged captain of a migrant boat which sank off Libya in April 2015, killing as many as 800 people, Italian media reported.

The accused skipper, Mohammed Ali Malek, claims he was a migrant himself and had been made to steer the boat by the real traffickers.

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Libya Unity Govt. Says it Wants Warplanes to Fight IS

Libya's unity government called Tuesday for warplanes and helicopters to fight jihadists as it hailed international support for granting it an exemption to a longstanding embargo on weapons sales.

On Monday, the United States, Italy and Libya's allies and neighbors agreed in Vienna to arm the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) to confront the threat from the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

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U.S. Ready to Loosen Libya Arms Embargo

The U.S. government is ready to loosen a ban on arms exports to Libya, in a bid to help the country's fledgling unity government fight the Islamic State group, officials and diplomats told AFP Thursday.

Under White House-backed plans, the United Nations would carve out exemptions to an embargo introduced by the Security Council in 2011, during Moammar Gadhafi's failed attempt to suppress a popular uprising.

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Libya Unity Government Vows to End Jihadist 'Scourge'

The head of Libya's unity government has announced plans for a concerted campaign to drive the Islamic State group out of the North African country, but without foreign intervention.

In remarks marking almost 30 days since his arrival in Tripoli to assert the authority of the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj also appealed for a united Libya.

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Kidnapped Serbian Worker in Libya Released

A Serbian employee of a German company who was kidnapped at the weekend in a remote part of Libya was released Wednesday, the foreign ministry in Belgrade said.

"Miroslav Tomic, 46, employed by German firm Ferrostaal and kidnapped on Sunday afternoon... was freed today," a ministry statement said citing the Serbian embassy in Tripoli, without giving details about the kidnappers.

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