Hundreds of Libyans held a demonstration in Tripoli demanding the breakup of militia groups and the formation of a national army and police.

The protesters gathered Friday at Martyrs Square at the heart of the capital despite warnings and religious edicts by the country's grand mufti against the protests.

Security forces were on high alert, diverting traffic away from the square and running checkpoints on main roads.

Protesters carried signs that read: "Libya is in trap, there is no army or police." They also chanted: "Where is the Libyan national army?"

The demonstrations recalled rallies last week in the eastern city of Benghazi. Those turned deadly however after some stormed the headquarters of militia groups. Libyan leaders have vowed to disband the "illegitimate" militias while recognizing other pro-government groups.