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Militias Surround Libyan Justice Ministry

  • VOA News

Armed revolutionaries stage protest in front of the Libyan Justice Ministry, Tripoli, April 30, 2013.

Armed revolutionaries stage protest in front of the Libyan Justice Ministry, Tripoli, April 30, 2013.

For a third consecutive day, gunmen are surrounding Libya's Justice Ministry in a show of force intended to sway the country's developing legislature.

Libya's private militias positioned trucks with anti-aircraft guns around the ministry building in Tripoli Tuesday, sealing off some of the roads that lead to the building.

The protesters, including former rebel Ibrahim Al-Mesalaty, are demanding Libya's legislature pass reforms that would ban officials who served under deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi from holding office.

"Our demands are for the [enactment of the] Political Isolation Law and to clean up the justice system and all state institutions and ministries."

But some Libyan activists accuse the militias of trying to intimidate the government and prevent Prime Minister Ali Zidan from fulfilling his promise to restore the government's central authority.

Protesters have previously encircled Libya's interior ministry and raided the national television station, beating some journalists.

Libya's legislature has suspended its sessions until May 5.

The country has struggled with instability and violence since the ouster of long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi in late 2011.

Just last week, an explosion at the French embassy complex in Tripoli wounded two guards and caused extensive damage.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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