Libyan rebels name team to run areas they control

Sat Apr 2, 2011 6:54pm GMT

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BENGHAZI, Libya, April 2 (Reuters) - Libya's rebel council named what it called a "crisis team" on Saturday, including a new armed forces head, which will administer parts of the country it holds in its struggle to topple Muammar Gaddafi.

The team headed by Mahmoud Jebril will take its direction from the transitional national council, which remains the top rebel political body, council spokesman Hafiz Ghoga told a news conference.

Omar Hariri is in charge of the military department, with General Abdel Fattah Younes al Abidi, a long serving officer in Gaddafi's armed forces, as his chief of staff. Younes will be in charge of staff matters and field operations, Ghoga said.

Younes, a former Libyan interior minister, changed sides at the start of the uprising in mid-February but is distrusted by many in the rebel camp because of his past ties to Gaddafi.

The role of Khalifa Hefta, who was previously named as head of the new army being formed by the rebel leadership, was unclear. Ghoga said Hefta was welcome to help but had never been the military leader -- even though a rebel military spokesman had announced him as such in Ghoga's presence two weeks ago.

"He has no position. There is only one army led by Younes," Ghoga said.   Continued...

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