Tripoli: One man was killed and four people wounded as Libyan security forces on Tuesday repelled armed demonstrators who attacked government headquarters in Tripoli, a senior official said.
The country’s interim prime minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib read out a statement on television denouncing the violence and vowing not to give way to “outlaws” making demands at the end of a gun.
The casualties occurred as government forces sought to clear the area and open access to the besieged building, interim government spokesman Nasser al-Manaa said. Manaa was speaking to journalists inside the government complex just hours after the attack. The one man killed and three of those wounded were members of the interior ministry’s Tripoli High Security Committee called in to deal with the situation after dialogue failed, he said. One of the assailants was also wounded.
Tripoli High Security Committee head Khaled Besher said 14 assailants had been arrested. A group of demonstrators had shown up at 1230 IST, he told journalists.
Armed men had soon joined their ranks. By noon, the crowd had grown to 200 people, including gunmen from the western town of Yefren backed by about 50 trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers.
Representatives aired their grievances including the non-payment of cash stipends for former rebels who fought against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, Manaa told reporters. (AFP)
After some gunmen forced their way into the building and opened fire, the interim government started evacuating personnel and called for back-up, he added. Earlier, a public official said former rebels had opened fire with anti-aircraft cannon. “Some men entered the premises and fired from inside,” sparking chaos as people scrambled for cover, he said. Residents in the area reported hearing heavy exchanges of gunfire. (AFP)