Hundreds of Libyan pro-democracy advocates have marched in Tripoli, denouncing militias' recent intimidation of state institutions and coming under attack briefly by supporters of the armed groups. It was the latest sign of the turmoil that threatens the country's first elected authorities.

Raising banners that read "No democracy with force," the demonstrators marched on the capital's Algeria Square and Martyrs' Square but were attacked by rivals who tore their placards and forced them back, witnesses said on Friday. Protesters then marched to the headquarters of the Cabinet to voice support for the government.

Libya's elected government and parliament depend on militias to maintain security given the absence of a unified police and military since the 2011 ouster and killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.