Eastern Libya declares semiautonomous region

Eastern Libya declares semiautonomous region

BENGHAZI - The Associated Press
Eastern Libya declares semiautonomous region

Libyans celebrate the one-year anniversary of the 'February 17 Revolution' on the streets of the city of Benghazi. REUTERS photo

Tribal leaders and militia commanders have declared a semiautonomous region in oil-rich eastern Libya.

Thousands of major tribal leaders, militia commanders and politicians made the declaration today in a ceremony held in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Vowing to end decades of marginalization under ouster ruler Moammar Gadhafi, the gathering named a council to run the affairs of the newly created region, extending from the central coastal city of Sirte to the Egyptian border to the east.

Libya's National Transitional Council, the interim central government, has repeatedly voiced its opposition to the creation of an eastern region, warning it could eventually lead to the breakup of the North African nation.