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Iran Press TV

Armed men attack Libya Interior Ministry

Iran Press TV

Wed Jul 3, 2013 6:26AM GMT

A group of armed men have attacked Libya’s Interior Ministry in the capital, Tripoli, forcing the closure of the building, reports say.

The gunmen surrounded the building with sandbags and blocked the entrance on Tuesday evening, a security official said.

The official said the armed men from the western city of Zintan were responsible for the attack.

According to an Interior Ministry source, the men demanded the resignation of the minister due to the government’s reliance on some militias for security.

"An unknown group dressed in fatigues arrived and demanded that we close the Interior Ministry," a police officer said, adding the gunmen wanted police and army to be in charge of security.

The ministry source said, "There were not many guards inside” the building, “so to avoid any clashes, the ministry was closed.”

He went on to say that the group called “for the minister to resign because of his dependence on" a force known as the Supreme Security Committee (SSC).

The committee was formed after the ouster of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Police guards said the gunmen retreated when the SSC members arrived and "both sides fired shots in the air."

In a separate incident in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday night, at least seven people were injured after a car bomb exploded near a Special Forces patrol.

No person or group has so far claimed responsibility for the bomb attack.


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