Libyan government gives militias two weeks to quit Tripoli

Libya's government on Tuesday gave militias a two-week deadline to quit Tripoli, threatening to close down the capital city if they fail to do so.

"A public demonstration will be held tomorrow at 4:30 pm in Martyrs' Square in support of... initiatives to clear Tripoli of weapons and the unnecessary presence of militia," said a statement from the office of interim premier Abdel Rahim al-Kib.

"It is anticipated that the demonstration will escalate each day until December 20. On that day, if the militias have not left the city, the public of Tripoli and the Libyan government will close the whole city to traffic."

The statement by Kib's office was issued after he met Tripoli city council officials and other members of the National Transitional Council.

Abdul Razzak Abuhajar, president of the Tripoli city council, urged militias from outside Tripoli to leave the city.

"I would urge all of those militias from outside Tripoli to return home," a statement quoted him as saying.

"We are grateful for their help but now it is time for them to return to their families and friends to help rebuild their own cities and lives."

-AFP/NOW Lebanon