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Libya closes borders, declares martial law in south

Published on Dec 17, 2012 6:03 AM
Libyan army soldiers carry the coffin of one of two soldiers killed in action in the oasis town of Bani Walid (105 miles) southeast of Tripoli during a memorial service at Mitiga Airport, in Tripoli, on Dec 16, 2012. Captains Mohamed al-Zarruk and Ahmed al-Haj Mohamed were killed when reinforcements were called in to Bani Walid after interior ministry forces were trapped by gunmen, the army said. -- PHOTO : AFP 

TRIPOLI (AFP) - Libya ordered the closure of its borders with four of its neighbours on Sunday, as it declared martial law in its vast desert south in the face of mounting unrest, state media reported.

The National Assembly ordered the "temporary closure of the land borders with Chad, Niger, Sudan and Algeria pending new regulations" on the circulation of people and goods, said a decree carried by the official LANA news agency.

"The provinces of Ghadames, Ghat, Obari, Al-Shati, Sebha, Murzuq and Kufra are considered as closed military zones to be ruled under emergency law," the decree stipulated.

It gave the defence ministry powers to appoint a military governor with authority to arrest fugitives from justice, and detain and deport illegal immigrants.

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