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April 17, 2014

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Libyan militia to lawmakers: Resign or risk arrest

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 | 7:42 a.m.

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — An influential Libyan militia has issued a televised statement warning members of parliament to leave their posts or face arrest.

Parliament's term expired on Feb. 7, but lawmakers voted to extend it with plans to hold new elections in the spring. Since then, crowds have been protesting to demand the legislative body be dissolved.

Tuesday's statement read by an unnamed commander of the al-Qaaqaa militia called on the parliament "to hand over power" by the end of the night, saying lawmakers who refuse to do so will be considered "usurpers of power" and will be detained.

The warning comes a day after Libyans marked the third anniversary of the start of their revolution that toppled longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi but left the country with no strong central government or military.