Tripoli, 3 March 2013:
Three security personnel were injured in the early hours of this morning, one of them seriously, while trying . . .[restrict]to evict war-wounded revolutionaries who have been occupying the Congress headquarters for almost a month.
Contrary to earlier reports, no one was killed.
Members of two security forces, the Presidential Security Group and the National Guard and Security Directorate, were trying to evict the former revolutionaries without using force when the protestors and their supporters opened fire, according to Libyan news agency LANA.
The three injured men were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. One is in intensive care.
The security forces said they did not retaliate when they realised the protestors had gelatina explosives and withdrew to avoid any further casualties.
The three injured were shot not by the occupiers who only had one gun between them, it is reported, but by supporters who were summoned from outside the building by phone. These were armed with semi-automatic weapons.
War-wounded revolutionaries and their supporters stormed the Congress building on 3 February. Most left later that day, but a small group staged a sit-in in the main debating chamber and have continued to occupy it. As a result, Congress members have since been forced to use other venues for their debates.
The former revolutionaries, many of whom had to have limbs amputated as a result of their injuries, have made various demands, including that the government should pay for their treatment abroad.
Congress last week passed a law giving a series of benefits to disabled revolutionaries. It has been said that, as a result, all their demands have been met and that there is no justification for the continued sit-in.
In light of today’s incident, Congress decided to postpone today’s session. It had planned to vote today on the government’s LD-66 billion budget. [/restrict]