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Internet returns to Libya's west, south after disruptions

The protesters were reacting to eastern militias shutting down oil terminals since this summer

Published: Updated:

Internet service has returned to Libya’s west and south on Sunday following statements from officials a day earlier, saying protesters had stormed the main headquarters of major telecommunication companies, disrupting internet service.

Atef al-Bahari, a senior official in the telecommunication ministry, said Saturday that dozens stormed the companies’ offices in Tripoli and were holding staff there hostage, disrupting the Internet in Tripoli too.

Al-Bahari said it appeared the protesters were reacting to eastern militias shutting down oil terminals since this summer. He said negotiations are ongoing through tribal leaders to end the standoff.

Libya has been roiled by unrest since the ouster in 2011 of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Heavily armed groups that fought Qaddafi's army have turned themselves into militias that exploit the weak central government in Tripoli.