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Rival Libya government takes office as tensions grow

Former Libyan interior minister Fathi Bashagha was appointed prime minister last month by the war-torn country's parliament in the eastern city of Tobruk and sworn in on March 3 with his new government
— Tripoli (AFP)

Libya's parliament swore in a rival cabinet on Thursday in a bid to oust the unity government, a move that has raised fears of another major schism in the war-scarred country.

The assembly, based in Libya's east, had tasked former interior minister Fathi Bashagha last month with forming a government.

That raised the prospect of a show-down with the western, Tripoli-based administration of Abdulhamid Dbeibah, who has refused to cede power to anything but an elected government.

And in a sign of ratcheting tensions, Bashagha accused Dbeibah's government of shutting down the country's airspace and said an "armed group" had detained three ministers-in-waiting to block them from reaching Thursday's ceremony.

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