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Libyan Berbers storm parliament

14th Aug 2013

Members of Libya’s ethnic Berber minority forced their way into the parliament building in Tripoli on Tuesday, smashing windows and destroying furniture, in a demonstration to push for cultural rights, an assembly spokesman said.

The protest occurred during a break in a regular session at the assembly, General National Congress spokesman Omar Hmaiden said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but Hmaiden said furniture had been smashed and some documents belonging to assembly members were missing.

Violence and lawlessness, much of it involving former rebel groups, has hobbled governance in the North African oil producer since the war that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Earlier in the day security officials said a colonel in the restive eastern city of Benghazi escaped a bomb attack after discovering the device placed under his car outside his home.

Colonel Jelal al-Arafi discovered the device and immediately ran away from the vehicle when the bomb exploded, security spokesman Colonel Abdallah al-Zayedi said.

“He was injured in the foot and underwent surgery at a hospital in Benghazi,” Zayedi said, adding that this was an “attempted assassination.”

That incident came a day after a TV journalist survived an attack in Benghazi after coming under a hail of bullets.

On Monday, Khadija al-Ammami, director of Libya Al-Ahrar television’s Benghazi office, was shot at several times when she was in her car on the way to her office but miraculously survived, a colleague said.

She later received telephone threats that she would be killed next time.

Monday’s attack came three days after a Libyan doctor who hosted a television program on human development was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Benghazi, Libya’s second city.

Azzedine Koussad, a presenter for Libya Alhurra television, was hit by several rounds as he sat in his parked car.

(Reuters, AFP)


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