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Libya rebels fighters to merge under one command

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Disparate rebel fighter groups in the Libyan capital will be brought under one command after an interim period and the formation of a new national army, the rebel commander in Tripoli said on Friday.

Abdel Hakim Belhadj also told a news conference in Tripoli that rebel groups in the capital, now under a unified military council, were preparing a strategy to secure all state institutions and diplomatic missions while mopping up remaining pockets of resistance.

"The Military Council announces its intention to dissolve all rebel formations and merge them into state institutions," Belhadj said.

All groups will be brought under one national army once the interim period was completed, he said.

Belhadj said that rebels in Tripoli were focusing their efforts on "purifying" areas of the capital from remaining pockets of loyalists of fugitive Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Some analysts say rebel fighters from different parts of Libya could fragment after toppling Muammar Gaddafi due to the country's tribal and regional divisions.

(Reporting by Ahmed Tolba, Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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