News / Africa

Libya Relocates Parliament After Attack

Men inspect Libya's General National Congress (GNC) building a day after protesters stormed into the building in Tripoli, March 3, 2014.
Men inspect Libya's General National Congress (GNC) building a day after protesters stormed into the building in Tripoli, March 3, 2014.
Edward Yeranian
— Libyan militiamen stormed the country's national assembly overnight, beating and shooting a number of MPs. Both the interim government and U.N. mission in Tripoli are warning militiamen not to resort to violence over political disputes.

Libyan state TV announced the names of six members of the interim national assembly who were wounded when militiamen stormed the assembly's  headquarters. The station showed footage of minor damage to the conference hall, and graffiti on the wall.

One assembly member, Ala'a Magarief, describes what happened during the assault. He said  75-90 assembly members were sitting down and holding their session and within seconds, the hall was stormed without warning.

The Libyan interim government issued a statement on its official website insisting that citizens “have the right to demonstrate and hold peaceful sit-ins,” but that they must “refrain from resorting to violence.” The U.N. mission in Libya (UNSMIS) urged Libyans “not to use violence.”

Libya's defense ministry said Monday that it was “assuring the safety of parliament” and protecting its headquarters. Interim speaker Nouri Bou Sahmein said the body would meet Monday afternoon, but at a different location. Members of the interim government are due to brief the assembly, although Prime Minister Ali Zeidan is on an official visit to Rome.

Al Arabiya TV reported that protesters outside the General National Assembly headquarters “may have resorted to violence after someone set their sit-in camp ablaze.” Amateur video showed a fire burning in a parking lot outside the building and later video of torched vehicles.

Ahmed al Atrash, who teaches political science and international relations at the University of Tripoli, says he's not expecting any serious violence in the country, since everyone is armed and it is in no one's interest to start a conflict.

"Power and guns are not centralized in one hand in Libya," he said. "It's everywhere, you know. There's a kind of balance of power in Libya, now. I mean, everybody is aware of the other. That's what I see even in the Libyan streets. People all have guns, but they don't use [them] that much, because they know that the others might react."

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid