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Libyan parliament hit by a shell, evacuated

The headquarters of the Libyan National Congress has been evacuated Sunday evening after being hit by a shell during one of its sessions, Anadolu news agency reported. No one has been hurt in the accident.

The chairman of the National Security Committee MP Abdelrahman Al-Suwehli told Anadolu that the shell fell during the convention of a session discussing a memorandum by national security and defence committees requesting the dismantling of two militias.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Al-Suwehli said that this was not the first time militias attack government buildings. "These militias have to be dismantled because they threaten legitimacy and Libyan society."

The militias Al-Qaaqaa and Al-Sawaeq are among the strongest armed groups in Libya which have been formed after the end of the 2011 revolution. Some of them have been tasked with the protection of government officials and the former transitional ruling council. The two militias have demanded the National Congress to "hand over power to the people", threatening to overthrow it by force.

Last Tuesday, affiliates of the two militias gave the National Congress a 5-hours ultimatum to leave power, threatening to arrest MPs who refuse to resign. They claimed power would be handed over to other authorities, without naming them.

The interim period for the National Congress had been scheduled to end on February 7. However, members extended it to guarantee the continuation of work on the constitution and elections, triggering disagreement among the members.

In an emergency meeting on Tuesday, the Defence Committee recommended the dismantling of Al-Qaaqaa and Al-Sawaeq militias for their violation of military laws. The committee demanded authorities to take the harshest measures against the militia leaders Othman Amlekta (Al-Qaaqaa) and Emad Al-Tarabolsi (Al-Sawaeq) and to arrest them as soon as possible.

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