Update: National Congress evacuated following firefight outside
Tripoli, 25 September:
The entire National Congress has been evacuated after a firefight broke out following a protest outside by disgruntled former revolutionaries.
The incident happened early this afternoon, Tuesday, with witnessing reporting hearing bursts of fire over a period of two to three minutes.
It is not known how many people were injured during the exchange.
Revolutionaries had gathered outside the Congress building to protest about being marginalised by the new authorities. Some were reported to have been carrying banners saying “do not sideline the revolutionaries”.
“What I can tell you is that they started shooting and we were evacuated from our offices shortly afterwards”, Ahmed Dali Ahmeda, an independent Congressman from Souk Al-Jouma told the Libya Herald.
“The National Army has now gained control of the whole area”.
The decision to evacuate the Congress does not appear to have been coordinated, with Congressmen and women apparently left to their own devices once out of the building.
“Some are in the Rixos hotel, and others have gone elsewhere”, Ahmeda said. “I have returned to Souk Al-Juma.
Members should be able to return to the Congress at 9am tomorrow morning, Ahmeda added.
The incident comes three days after members of the SSC and their relatives reportedly threatened to attack the Rixos hotel, which sits adjacent to the Congress, following a bungled operation in Brak that left at least six people dead, mostly SSC members, last Wednesday.
The National Army is also conducting a coordinated campaign to clear renegade militia from their bases in Tripoli, with a 48-hour deadline for all militia not under government control to lay down their arms having expired yesterday night.