Angry ex-rebels raid Libyan PM’s office

Angry ex-rebels raid Libyan PM’s office

Angry ex-rebels raid Libyan PM’s office

Five Libyan men, suspected supporters of the Gadhafi regime, stand in front of defense lawyers at the start of their trial in a court in the town of Zawiyah on May 8. REUTERS photo

Libyan security forces on May 8 repelled armed demonstrators who had surrounded and stormed government headquarters in Tripoli, a senior official said, adding one person was killed in clashes.

“One person was killed in the confrontation,” interim government spokesman Nasser al-Manaa said, speaking from within the government complex just hours after the attack. And “four people were wounded” in the clashes that broke out when government forces sought to clear the area and open access to the besieged building, he added, Agence France-Presse reported.

That toll, Manaa said, comprised one of the assailants and three members of the Tripoli High Security Committee, who were asked to rescue the situation after dialogue failed. Earlier, an interior ministry official said at least two guards died. Manaa said only that two guards were “hit” without going into details. Manaa told journalists that representatives aired grievances including the non-payment of cash stipends for former rebels who fought against the regime of Moammar Gadhafi. Tripoli High Security Committee head Khaled Besher said 14 assailants were arrested.

Civilian trial for suspected Gadhafi supporters
Meanwhile, Libya began its first civilian trial of alleged supporters of Gadhafi’s regime on May 8, officials said, as five men accused of planning to create instability by “terrorist acts” appeared in the dock, Reuters reported. The men were behind bars in the courtroom. Officials said these were the first such civil court proceedings since the end of last year’s war. Libya has been questioned by human rights groups whether its justice system can meet the standards of international law.