Libyan rebels rename themselves National Liberation Army

31 May 2011 - 09:07 By Sapa-AFP

Libya's rebel leaders, the National Transitional Council (NTC), announced that they had renamed their armed forces the National Liberation Army (NLA).

"The NTC hopes that the temporary name will help better define the increasingly professional and disciplined military efforts to overcome the Gaddafi regime," said the statement.

Rebels have been fighting troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi since the February 17 uprising that has effectively split the country in two, with the rebel forces entrenched in the east of the country.

But their military force is made largely of young, inexperienced volunteers and the force is poorly equipped compared to the soldiers fighting for Gaddafi.