Thousands stage anti-militia protests in Libya's capital

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Thousands of Libyans have staged mass demonstrations in a rare show of defiance against powerful militias encroaching into Libya's capital, Tripoli, after days of clashes that have effectively chopped the city into warring fiefdoms.

Pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft weapons attacked the Friday protests, forcing many to flee, according to TV network Libya Channel.

Protesters chanted slogans against the militias and called for a unified army and police. Some voiced support for the eastern-based army commander Khalifa Hifter, who is opposed by his Tripoli-based rivals which include the U.N.-brokered government and militias in the capital.

"We won't go home until our demands are met," said 27-year-old protester Mohamed Zein. "We ask for all militias that have come from outside of Tripoli to leave immediately."