Libya's Defense Minister resigns

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By ESAM MOHAMED, Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libya's defense minister says he has resigned to protest to a show of force by militias who have been besieging government buildings to push their political demands.

Mohammed Al-Barghathi told reporters on Tuesday that the resignation was prompted by "the stark assault on democracy and elected authorities" after last week's show of force by militias that forced their way into several ministries and surrounded others with machine-gun mounted trucks.

The militias originally claimed that they wanted parliament to pass a contentious law banning officials who held posts in the 42-year rule of Moammar Gadhafi from positions in the new government.

But the militias remained after the parliament passed the law Sunday. They now demand the ouster of Prime Minister Ali Zidan.

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