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New Libyan parliament meets as foreigners continue to flee unrest

More foreigners flee deteriorating situation in Libya. Britain deploys navy ship in evacuation.
New Libyan parliament holds first official session in Tobruk after Tripoli is deemed too dangerous

More foreign nationals fled Libya on Monday as the newly elected parliament held its first official session in the eastern city of Tobruk because of security concerns in the capital, Tripoli.

Britain deployed a warship to evacuate 361 people, including 110 Britons, to the nearby island of Malta.

Meanwhile, as many as 2,500 Egyptian workers are fleeing Libya daily through the Tunisian border crossing of Ras Jedir, and nearly a thousand Filipino workers and their dependents in Libya have returned to Manila since their government announced a mandatory evacuation from Libya.

The oil-exporting country has been witnessing deadly confrontations in Tripoli and Benghazi between Islamist militias on one side and army troops and forces loyal to rogue army Gen. Khalifa Haftar on the other.

During Tuesday's parliament session, secular lawmaker Abu Bakr Baiera called for a "serious dialogue" with all armed factions to end the fighting. He also demanded the election of a new national unity Cabinet that would set new regulations to impose security across Libya.

The session was attended by representatives of the Arab League, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The new parliament, elected of a majority of secular lawmakers, is set to take over from the ruling Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated General National Congress amid deep divisions between Libyan Islamists and liberals.

Hassan is a special correspondent.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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