TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Heavily armed gunmen stormed into Libya’s parliament on Sunday after attacking the building with anti-aircraft weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, witnesses and residents said.
Details of the armed group were unclear, but a spokesman for retired Libyan general Khalifa Haftar said his irregular forces had carried out the assault as part of his campaign against Islamist militants.
“These are members of the Libyan National Army,” Mohamed al-Hejazi, spokesman for the group said, using the name of the irregular forces loyal to Haftar.
Heavy smoke billowed from the parliament building, and a Reuters reporter said gunmen had closed the streets leading to legislature. Another witness said gunmen had kidnapped two people from the congress.
Lawmaker Omar Bushah told Reuters gunmen had stormed into the General National Congress, raiding lawmakers’ offices and set the building on fire. Witnesses reported heavy fighting outside the parliament.