Attackers detain lawmakers, other officials at Libyan parliament

TRIPOLI (AP) — The gunmen who attacked Libya’s parliament today are said to have detained about 20 lawmakers and other officials.

That information comes from an official with an umbrella group of militias. And it came amid continuing gunfire in the Libyan capital.

The attack came from troops led by a rogue Libyan general who has been on the offensive against Islamists, saying they’ve been allowed to have too much influence in the country. The offensive has been centered in eastern Libya, but it has now moved into the heart of the country’s capital.

The general’s forces also struck two Islamist militia bases Friday in Benghazi, the second largest city setting off clashes that Libyan health officials say left 70 people dead.

The head of the parliament has told a TV station that militias loyal to the parliament and government have matters “under control.”

Libya’s parliament is divided between Islamist and non-Islamist factions. Rival militias, which wield the real power in Libya, have lined up behind the competing factions.

%@AP Links

106-c-18-(Sarah El Deeb, AP correspondent)-“in the capital”-AP correspondent Sarah El Deeb reports forces loyal to a rogue Libyan general have attacked the country’s parliament expanding his eastern offensive against Islamists. (18 May 2014)

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107-c-19-(Sarah El Deeb, AP correspondent)-“anti-Islamist as well”-AP correspondent Sarah El Deeb reports the forces attacking the Parliament appear to be under the control of a Libyan general whom lawmakers believe is attempting a coup. (18 May 2014)

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APPHOTO CAI105: In this image made from video provided by the Libyan national army via AP Television, vehicles with heavy artillery of the Tripoli joint security forces move closer to the parliament building after troops of Gen. Khalifa Hifter targeted Islamist lawmakers and officials at the parliament in Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, May 18, 2014. Forces loyal to a rogue Libyan general attacked the country’s parliament Sunday, expanding his eastern offensive against Islamists into the heart of the country’s capital. (AP Photo/Libyan national army) (18 May 2014)

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