Facebook blocked in Libya as fighting continues


Facebook is blocked in Tripoli and other Libyan cities, residents said as fighting between rival groups raged.

Facebook is the main platform for news in Libya with officials, ministries and armed groups that effectively control the country posting statements.

The blockage started at noon, angry users wrote on Twitter. Several residents confirmed they could not access Facebook.

Tripoli has been shaken by more than a week of clashes between rival groups, the latest chaos in the North African country since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

There was no clear response from officials over who was behind the blockage. Non-Facebook websites could be accessed, residents said.

Libyan utility LPTIC, which owns two state telecoms firms, said in a statement a lack of security led to outages. Maintenance engineers were unable to reach some stations which stopped due to a lack of power.

It did not address the Facebook issue.

Access to the web is controlled by state firms and monitored by security bodies effectively controlled by armed groups working with the UN-backed government in Tripoli.

Newspapers have no role in Libya and independent national media in the country scarcely exists as journalists often face threats from armed groups or officials unhappy with critical coverage.