June 3 - Libyan prime minister Ahmed Maiteeq denounces clashes between militant Islamists and army forces which killed around 20 people. Sarah Toms reports.
Violent scenes in eastern Libya on Monday. Around 20 people were killed in intense fighting in Benghazi. It started when Ansar al-Sharia militants attacked forces loyal to renegade General Khalifa Haftar, who hit back with airstrikes. Benghazi is at the centre of a two-week long campaign by Haftar's forces against Islamist armed groups. Back in the capital -- after his first cabinet meeting -- the new Libyan prime minister Ahmed Maiteeq condemns the violence. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LIBYAN PROME MINISTER AHMED MAITEEQ SAYING: "Extremism is not accepted from any party, and fighting it away from the government will increase the problem and will split the Libyan society that could be difficult to fix later. We will not allow anyone to threaten the neighbouring countries" Libya is facing a political crisis as the outgoing premier refuses to hand over power to Maiteeq, elected by parliament last month. That's left the new prime minister with little power and no real army to impose state authority on fighters like Haftar who use military muscle to make demands.