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New Libya interior minister to oversee police

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ESAM MOHAMED | May 26, 2013 03:59 PM EST | AP

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TRIPOLI, Libya — Libyan lawmakers have approved the prime minister's pick for interior minister after his predecessor resigned.

Mohammed al-Sheikh replaces Ashour Shwayel as head of Libya's fledgling police force. He was sworn in Sunday after Libya's General National Congress endorsed him.

The Interior Ministry is under pressure to rein in militias, which have grown in strength. They help provide security in the absence of a strong police or military force, but they do not answer to a central authority.

The militias first emerged during the 2011 civil war that ousted longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and were largely comprised of rebel fighters.

The militias besieged some government buildings in the capital this month, preventing employees from working. They demanded replacement of the interior and defense ministers.