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Libyan factions start U.N.-backed peace talks

U.N. Special Representative Bernardino Leon speaks at the General National Congress (GNC) headquarters in Tripoli February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

TRIPOLI (Reuters)United Nations negotiators on Wednesday restarted talks with delegates from Libya’s warring factions, meeting separately with rival parties in an attempt to end the political crisis and reach a ceasefire.

U.N. special envoy Bernardino Leon met in the Libyan city of Ghadames with representatives from the two rival governments who are competing for power in the North African state in a conflict Western powers fear will slide into broader civil war.

The U.N. mission in Libya’s Twitter account posted pictures of Leon with delegations and said the U.N. envoy held “separate meetings with the parties as political dialogue” began.

Representatives from both factions at the talks could not immediately be reached for details.

Nearly four years after veteran leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted, Libya is caught in a struggle between an internationally recognised government and a rival government set up in Tripoli after an armed faction took over the capital in the summer.

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