Libya watch: Two lawmakers shot as protesters storm parliament

General National Congress (GNC) spokesman Omar Hmidan told Al-Nabaa television armed activists burst into the building in Tripoli on Sunday and attacked and “abused” lawmakers.

GNC speaker Nuri Abu Sahmein said two GNC members were hit by bullets after they tried to flee the venue in their cars. They were among several who were hospitalized.

Another GNC member said the protesters were mostly young men armed with sticks and knives who entered the building with chants of “Resign, resign.”

The GNC, Libya’s highest authority, was elected on an interim basis following the 2011 uprising that toppled Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Its mandate had been due to expire in February, but was extended until the end of December, sparking considerable public outcry. Parliament has now agreed to hold early elections, but has not yet set a date.

Tensions were raised on Saturday evening after protesters said gunmen broke up a sit-in outside the parliament building. They claimed several activists were detained during the raid, although were unable to give a figure.

They responded by blocking roads to the parliament to demand the release of those held.

Demonstrators say the gunmen belonged to the Operations Cell of Libyan Revolutionaries, a former rebel group which operates under the GNC’s command…

Related: A French engineer was shot dead in the restive city of Benghazi in eastern Libya on Sunday, a source at the hospital where he was taken said.

The source at al-Jala hospital said the 49-year-old Frenchman had been hit by three bullets in an attack in the city’s Abeida district.

The unidentified victim was an employee of a company carrying out extension work at the Benghazi Medical Centre.

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