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You are here News International Gunmen storm Libyan parliament, clashes in Tripoli

Gunmen storm Libyan parliament, clashes in Tripoli

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Gunmanstorm Libyan parliamentHeavily armed gunmen stormed Libya's parliament with anti-aircraft weapons on Sunday in an assault claimed by forces loyal to a renegade ex-general who has vowed to purge the country of Islamist militants.

In a confusing, chaotic attack, heavy smoke rose from the parliament building in Tripoli as gunmen clashed with guards. A Reuters reporter said the attackers raided and left, and other unknown gunmen later closed off nearby streets.

Another witness said attackers had kidnapped two people and heavy gunfire could be heard across other parts of Tripoli, where rival brigades of former rebels have often clashed since ending their 2011 war against Muammar Gaddafi.

Details of who carried out the parliament attack were unclear, but a spokesman for retired Libyan general Khalifa Haftar said his forces had carried out the assault as part of his campaign to rid Libya of 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.

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