|Kat De Guzman |||Sep 01, 2014 01:53 AM EDT|
(Photo : REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny ) A view of an annex of the US embassy in Tripoli during a media tour organised by Dawn of Libya on August 31, 2014. The group took over the annex. Nothing much has changed and according to a commander of the group, they want to preserve the area as much as they could.
An ally of the Islamist group is in control of the U.S. Embassy and its residential compound in Libya. A commander for the group Dawn of Libya, Moussa Abu-Zaqia, confirmed that their group has been guarding the area since last week.
Zaqia told AP that his group battled with Zintan, a rival militia, before they seized control over the capital, the international airport and the compound.
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Onlookers were allowed to see the damage the warring militias inflicted on the compound. The abandoned homes of the diplomats who fled a month ago show weeks of violence amongst rival militias to gain control of Tripoli.
According to a senior State Department official, they are seeking additional information regarding the presence of militiamen in the U.S. Embassy. The official added that the embassy staff have been transferred from Tripoli to Valletta, Malta. The department is working closely now with the Libyan government.
One journalist from AP also released information on what remains of the compound. The journalist said that windows have been broken, but most of the equipment has not been touched. The journalist added that there were treadmills, weight benches as well as protein bars in the gym. A table has been untouched as it is still complete with forks, knives, and napkin sets.
Documents and papers were seen scattered on the floor but the compound was said to be not as ransacked as they expected. Zaqia noted that they asked cleaners to clean the area and noted that the staff of the U.S. The embassy is welcome to come back in the compound and in other areas the Dawn of Libya controls.
According to Hassan Ali, another commander for the Dawn of Libya militia, they saw small fires and little damage before they fought with Zintan with regards to taking control of the compound. The commander noted that they guarded the compound and they preserved the place as much as they could.
The Dawn of Libya is believed not to be connected with the extremist militia called Ansar al-Sharia, which allegedly assaulted the U.S. Consulate and killed three other Americans back in September 2012.
For the past weeks, security in Tripoli has been handled by militias as diplomatic security by Libya's Interior Ministry fled the area.
Militias who ousted and fought Moammar Gadhafi's troops remain powerful in the post-war Libya. The wars between the different militias continue to challenge Libya's central government as well as its plans in changing the country into a democratic nation.
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