The Libyan Foreign Ministry in downtown Tripoli is entirely inaccessible today, after “armed men in trucks with anti-aircraft guns mounted on them” surrounded the entire area and refused to allow ministry staff to enter the building.
Gunmen diverted traffic away from the area as protesters gathered, and a news conference was held in which they demanded parliament pass a law banning Gadhafi-era officials from holding posts.
The foreign ministry was selected as the target, according to organizers, because it still retains many of the same people in leadership positions as it did before the NATO-imposed regime change.
Foreign ministry officials complain that they felt “intimidated” by the incident, but there were no reports of any violence in the siege. A previous attempt at holding the vote, which was not attempted to pass, similarly was met with an armed blockade of parliament.
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