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The casualties came after rival armed groups fired rockets and heavy machine guns around the town of Gharyan, about 80km south of the capital, Tripoli. The interim government had been trying to broker a ceasefire but failed.
In the hills surrounding Gharyan there were scenes rarely seen in Libya since the capture and killing of Col Muammar Gaddafi nearly three months ago. Revolutionary forces were again in position, their anti-aircraft guns mounted on the backs of pickup trucks pointing west towards the town of Assabia.
The fighting started on Friday and continued sporadically throughout the weekend. On Saturday, Libyan Defence Minister Osama al-Juweili travelled to the town to try to broker a ceasefire. However the deal did not hold.
Libya's interim government is pressing the country's various armed groups to hand in their weapons, giving them the option of joining a national army. But so far it has met with only partial success.
The militias, which fought to unseat former leader Muammar Gaddafi, are now the biggest threat to stability in Libya, clashing regularly with each other in violent turf wars and undermining the authority of the country's new rulers.
The interim government, the National Transitional Council (NTC), wants to amalgamate the militias into the police force and army. The NTC's chief said this month that if they do not comply, the country risks being dragged into a civil war.
But on the evidence of the trickle of people signing up at the Interior Ministry's main recruitment centre in a Tripoli compound, most militia members are still reluctant.
There are no reliable figures for the number of fighters in Libya's militia units, but they could number in the hundreds of thousands.
Those that did turn up to seek jobs in the new police force were not from the heavily-armed and well-organised militias from outside Tripoli which pose the biggest headache for the NTC.
Instead, the prospective new recruits were from smaller militias which in any case did not have the resources to challenge for power. Some recruits said they were there because their units had not paid them.
So Libya just fought a civil war to oust a dictator, and now this is what's happening.
Can I get a hint? Oil, Money, Religion, Race, Politics, Fear, Control?
The scope of these regional wars...
The conflicts of Muslim v Hindu and Muslim v Judeo Christianity have been going on for 1000's of years, nothing new their.
Disputes of religions is but a false pretense,
Having not seen the Truth, they speak nonsense.
There is the more organised corporate political control that is establishing its dominance in the region. Will this bring schools, hospitals, trade and security to the region?
I know there are a lot of complex and different ideas around, if we have to use a bullet to get the message across is it really a realistic and good idea?