News ID: 322651
Published: 0332 GMT July 02, 2022

Libyan protesters storm parliament building in Tobruk

Libyan protesters storm parliament building in Tobruk

Protesters stormed Libya's parliament building in the eastern city of Tobruk on Friday, demonstrating against deteriorating living conditions and political deadlock, Libyan media reported.

Several television channels said that protesters had managed to penetrate the building and committed acts of vandalism, while media outlets showed images of thick columns of black smoke coming from its perimeter as angry young demonstrators burned tyres, AFP reported.

Other media reports said part of the building had been burned.

The parliament building was empty, as Friday falls on the weekend in Libya.

Libya's parliament, or House of Representatives, has been based in Tobruk, hundreds of kilometres (miles) east of the capital Tripoli, since an east-west schism in 2014 following the revolt that toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi three years earlier.

A rival body, formally known as the High Council of State, is based in Tripoli.

Images Friday showed that a protester driving a bulldozer had managed to smash through part of a gate, allowing other demonstrators to enter more easily, while cars of officials were set on fire.

Later, protesters began to break through the building's walls with construction equipment.

Others, some brandishing the green flags of the Gaddafi regime, threw office documents into the air.

While recognising "the right of citizens to demonstrate peacefully", parliament condemned "acts of vandalism and the burning" of its headquarters.

The interim prime minister of the Tripoli-based government, Abdulhamid Dbeibah, said on Twitter that he would add his voice to those of the protesters and called for the holding of elections.

Libya has endured several days of power cuts, worsened by the blockade of several oil facilities against the backdrop of political rivalries.

"We want the lights to work," protesters chanted.

Two governments have been vying for power for months: one based in Tripoli, led by Dbeibah, and another headed by former interior minister Fathi Bashagha, appointed by the parliament and supported by eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar.






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