Two MPs injured as protesters storm Libya parliament

Photo: Two MPs injured as protesters storm Libya parliament / Arabic region

Two members of Libya's interim parliament were shot and wounded when protesters stormed the General National Congress on Sunday, Agence France-Presse reported the speaker of the assembly as saying.

"Two members (of the GNC) were hit by bullets when they tried to leave the venue in their cars," Nuri Abu Sahmein said on Al-Nabaa television station, blaming "armed protesters" for the shooting, Al Arabiya reported.

Witnesses said dozens of protesters stormed Libya's interim parliament, the General National Congress, with some rampaging through the building.

The protesters demanded the dissolution of the GNC and objected against the overnight "kidnapping" of demonstrators from a sit-in outside the parliament.

In a brief statement, the justice ministry denounced the abduction "of youths who were expressing their views."

Earlier protesters said gunmen had broken up the sit-in on Saturday night before detaining some of them, without being able to give a figure.

"Armed men came firing in the air and they set fire to a tent set up by demonstrators" in front of the GNC, Libya's highest political authority, said protester Milad al-Arbi.

On Sunday, residents blocked roads in the area to demand the release of those held, an AFP photographer said.

According to demonstrators, the gunmen belonged to the Operations Cell of Libyan Revolutionaries, a former rebel group which operates under the GNC's command.

The Congress, elected after the 2011 revolution which ousted Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, has stirred popular anger by extending its mandate, which was due to expire in early February, until the end of December.

Under pressure from demonstrators, the GNC has announced that early elections will be held but without setting a date.

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Tags: protests, Libya