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Libya plans diplomatic security force

TRIPOLI, Libya — A special Libyan security force is being created to protect embassies and consulates after a wave of attacks by militants that highlights the serious deterioration in security over the past year, an official said Monday.

A brigadier general will lead the new force, Interior Ministry spokesman Magdi el-Urfi said. It will be made up of former rebels who have been integrated into the nation’s police force.

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He said setting up the force is in preliminary stages, and officials are studying international law governing the security of foreign dignitaries and buildings.

The announcement of a new security force comes four months after an assault on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi that killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The United States suspects that Al Qaeda-linked militants carried out the attack.

There has been little news of progress so far in bringing the attackers to justice, and US officials have complained about poor cooperation with the governments of the region in the investigation.

On Saturday, militants opened fire on the car of the Italian consul in Benghazi, where the Libyan uprising began in 2011. He was not hurt. Last year, the offices of the International Red Cross were attacked and the British ambassador to Libya was targeted. He also escaped unhurt.

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