The Straits Times
Published on Oct 22, 2012

Protesters break into grounds of Libya's parliament


TRIPOLI (REUTERS) - About 500 protesters broke into the grounds of Libya's parliament building on Sunday to demand an end to violence in Bani Walid, a former stronghold of the late Muammar Gaddafi that is being shelled by militiamen from a rival town.

Militias, many from Misrata and aligned with the Defence Ministry, have been shelling the hilltop town of 70,000 people for several days. State news agency LANA said on Sunday that 22 people had been killed and 200 wounded in the fighting.

"We are here to demand the government find a peaceful solution for the tribal war that is happening in Bani Walid," protester Nasser Ehdein said.

Libya's new rulers have held elections but have struggled to impose their authority on a country awash with weapons a year after Gaddafi was killed and the fighting in Bani Walid underscored how tenuous their control remains.