By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 23 January 2014:
The General National Congress was evacuated this evening in response to heavy gunfire nearby. Members and . . .[restrict]staff were ordered out the building by security staff, according to Libya news agency LANA.
The members had earlier debated whether or not to approve a proposal from the Presidency of Congress to withdraw legitimacy of the Qaaqaa and Sawaiq Brigades, according to Congress spokesman Omar Hemidan. However, it was decided that the timing was inappropriate and the debate was ended without any decision.
Reports this evening that Congress itself had been attacked with two mortars fired at it by the Qaaqaa Brigade were denied by Congress members. Benghazi independent member Ahmed Langhi told the Libya Herald that there had been no attack on Congress.
Rujban member Abu Bakr Rujbani said that there although he had not been present, he had spoken to security officials who assured him that there had been no problems at the building.
Residents in the area, however, reported heavy firing nearby, although some said that much of it was into their air rather than directed at any buildings or any individuals.
The firing then moved to Airport Road, not far from the Qaaqaa brigade’s Tripoli base on the Swani Road. There were no reports of any casualties, however.
Last Tuesday, the Qaaqaa and Sawaiq brigades issued an five-hour ultimatum to Congress members to resign or be arrested. In the event, nothing happened.
On Thursday, Qaaqaa Brigade leader Othman Milaiqtah was reported wounded in an incident in which prominent Zintani revolutionary figure Salah Al-Madani was killed.