Sunday, May 18, 2014

Heavily armed gunmen storm Libyan parliament

(Tripoli) Heavily armed gunmen have stormed into Libya's parliament after first attacking the building with anti-aircraft weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. Details of the armed group were unclear but a spokesman for retired Libyan general Khalifa Haftar said his irregular forces had carried out the assault as part of his campaign against Islamist militants. Mohamed al-Hejazi, spokesman for the group, has said:
"These are members of the Libyan National Army,"
Heavy smoke has been seen coming from the parliament building and gunmen have closed the streets. There are reports that gunmen had kidnapped two people from the congress.

Lawmaker Omar Bushah has reported that gunmen stormed into the General National Congress, raiding lawmakers' offices and setting the building on fire. There are also reports of heavy fighting outside the parliament.

Haftar, a former rebel in the war against Gaddafi, sent his fighters into Benghazi on Friday against Islamist militias based in the city after, saying Libya's government had failed to halt violence there.