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Libyan Transitional Council Hands Power To New Assembly

Libya's ruling council has handed power to a newly elected national assembly -- the country's first peaceful transition of power in modern history.

The handover was carried out in a late-night August 8 ceremony under tight security in Tripoli.

The National Transitional Council, the political arm of opposition forces that toppled Muammar Qaddafi a year ago, is to be dissolved.

Congress members, elected in July, took an oath led by the oldest member of the 200-seat assembly, Muhammad Ali Salim.

The assembly will name a new prime minister, pass laws, and steer Libya to full parliamentary elections after a new constitution is drafted next year.

Crowds gathered in Tripoli's Martyrs Square to celebrate the handover as fireworks lit the sky.

Authorities still struggle against armed groups who refuse to lay down their weapons.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP