Libya ex-rebels in deadly raid on government HQ

One man was killed and four people wounded as Libyan security forces 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 9:00 am (0700 GMT), 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 Moamer Kadhafi, Manaa told reporters.

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.

By 5:30 pm, fresh security forces were posted at the back, front and side entrances of the glass government building, which had dozens of its windows shattered in the attack.

Ammunition shells littered the area and the capital's usual sunset traffic jams were cleared by the violence, an AFP journalist said.

The Libyan government started paying out stipends to former rebel fighters a few months ago, but suspended the process after a few weeks citing irregularities, provoking angry protests from unpaid fighters.

Kib appeared on television late Tuesday to denounce the violence and to pay tribute to the member of the interior ministry security force who had been killed.

The government "will not give in to blackmail and to outlaws and will not negotiate under the threat of arms," he said.

"The interior ministry has arrested the attackers and the situation is completely under control," he added.

He called on Libyans to turn out to pay their respects to Ali al-Gaout, the security force member killed in the clash, describing him as a hero and a martyr.

It is not uncommon for demonstrators to carry arms when staging rallies in front of government buildings in the capital.

But Manaa, who blamed the violence on the dark legacy of 42 years of dictatorship, said: "We don't want this to become a widespread phenomenon."

In a message to former rebels, he stressed that there was no need to make "demands through force" and proposed dialogue instead.

Tuesday's violence marks the worst attack in Tripoli against Libya's new rulers, who have struggled to rein in rogue militias.

But the tough reaction shows the interim authorities are willing to call on their growing forces to counter threats against state institutions.

The clashes came as Libyans across the country registered to vote in the first national poll in more than four decades. Libyans are expected to vote for a constituent assembly in June.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Isuzu PH announces new President
    Isuzu PH announces new President

    Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) formally announced the appointment of Hajime Koso as the new president replacing outgoing president Nobuo Izumina, who will be assigned as the Director of Isuzu Body Corporation, an affiliate of Isuzu Motors Limited (IML) in Japan. A native of Okayama Japan, the 57 years old executive has been working for IML for 35 […] The post Isuzu PH announces new President appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather
    Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather

    Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao is confident he can beat American arch-rival Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on Saturday with the power of God, after abandoning a life he said was packed with sin condemning him to hell. Pacquiao is in top form both in mind and spirit after he traded his boozing, gambling and womanising ways for a devout life of prayer, his spiritual adviser, Jeric Soriano, told AFP in a recent Manila interview. Except the world got to him," Soriano said of Pacquiao's …

  • Honda sells Limited Edition CR-V and Jazz
    Honda sells Limited Edition CR-V and Jazz

    Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) is starting to roll out their limited edition models—the all-new Jazz and CR-V. The 20 units of all-new Jazz Cool Blue Limited Edition will have refreshing Brilliant Sporty Blue paint color and factory-installed Modulo accessories while the 10 new CR-V 2.4 SX units are available with limited edition Gold Brown […] The post Honda sells Limited Edition CR-V and Jazz appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • Celebrities urge Australia PM to do more to save execution pair
    Celebrities urge Australia PM to do more to save execution pair

    Celebrities including Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush released a video Tuesday urging Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to fly to Indonesia to help save two citizens facing execution, forcing the government to defend its tactics. "Bali Nine" drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan could face the firing squad within hours, along with others from Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and an Indonesian prisoner. Australia, Indonesia's close neighbour, has mounted a sustained diplomatic …

  • ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP
    ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP

    Security officials yesterday maintained that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has not penetrated the Philippines following an expert’s warning that the group poses a threat to the country. Abu Sayyaf, BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters), private armed groups to our knowledge are the people making problems down south,” Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. said. The BIFF and the Abu Sayyaf have pledged allegiance to the ISIS but it remains uncertain whether they are …

  • Cerbo named national police intel chief
    Cerbo named national police intel chief

    Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina yesterday ordered the appointment of PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. as chief of the Directorate for Intelligence. …

  • Pump prices up anew
    Pump prices up anew

    Oil companies announced yesterday another round of price hikes with independent oil firms among the first to issue their respective announcements. PTT Philippines, the local subsidiary of Thailand’s biggest oil firm, and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, another independent oil company, were among the first to issue their respective advisories. Seaoil Philippines also issued its announcement. …

  • PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing
    PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing

    The Philippine National Police will simplify requirements for getting a firearm’s permit under the new gun control law, PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina said yesterday. Espina said they are working to simplify the process to secure a license to own and possess firearms (LTOPF) amid complaints of excessive requirements from gun holders. Espina directed the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) to make it easier for legitimate gun owners to comply with the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options