WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) — Despite reports of infighting among rebel forces in Libya, Washington has confidence that transitional groups were functioning properly, a spokesman said.
Members of the international community involved in NATO operations over Libya have thrown support behind the rebel-backed Transitional National Council.
London in July recognized the TNC as the sole governmental authority in Libya and kicked members of the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi out of the country.
Mustafa el-Sogezly, deputy interior minister of the rebel government in Benghazi, told the Financial Times that a rival faction, calling itself the Shakir Brigade, was involved in killing TNC Gen. Abdel Fattah Younis and freeing Gadhafi loyalists from prison during fighting last week.
Mark Toner, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington welcomed commitments from the TNC to investigate the incident. He said the situation on the ground in Libya was fluid but any indication of a transparent message was indicative of the positive work of the TNC.
“We believe this is the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people during this transition period,” he said. “As I said, this is an extremely challenging period for Libya, and they are dealing with these challenges as they come but we have confidence that they can weather this.”