By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 7 May 2013:
There were tense scenes outside the Foreign Ministry this afternoon as several hundred residents from across . . .[restrict]Tripoli gathered to protest the presence of armed militiamen laying siege to it and the Justice Ministry. The militiamen started the sieges a week ago demanding Congress approve the Political isolation Law, which it did on Sunday. Many are now demanding the removal of the government as well.
Debate between both sides became heated during the encounter although there was never any violence.
“We are asking the gunmen to remove their weapons from the siege,” Hatem Siala, an IT specialist from Gararesh told the Libya Herald. “But it would be much better if they ended the siege altogether because the Congress passed the political isolation law last Sunday”, he added.
He said that the gunmen had been asked by Congress and government to remove their military vehicles and weapons and continue their protest in a way that did not disrupt the lives of local Zawiyat Dahmani residents.
“The government is trying to put pressure on us, trying to provoke us to have a problem with these pro-government protestors to make us look bad”, said one of the militiamen outside the ministry. “But we have only argued peacefully with them.”
There have been reports that the militiamen had withdrawn their gun-mounted vehicles. However, a man claiming to be a ministry security guard said: “They haven’t really gone, they have just gone to the HQ.”
The “HQ” is a nearby children’s playground area on the seafront, where several “technicals” were visible from a distance. [/restrict]