Washington: Libyan militias allied with a former general staged a brazen attack on the country’s parliament and declared it dissolved.
The move is seen as one of the worst fighting the capital, Tripoli, has seen since the 2011 revolution.
According to the Washington Post, by Sunday night, those forces announced that the elected General National Congress was being replaced by an existing constitutional drafting committee.
The power grab has reportedly threatened to send Libya hurtling into a full-blown civil war.
It was unclear whether ex-general Khalifa Haftar commanded sufficient force to prevail in the showdown in Tripoli.
Libyan news media reported that Haftar’s militia members had also kidnapped several national lawmakers Sunday.
Rumors circulated also suggested that the justice minister had narrowly survived an assassination attempt.
Reached by phone, justice minister, Salah Merghani, sounded shaken but said that he and his colleagues were okay.
Haftar is a mysterious general-turned-opposition-leader who sought exile in the United States in the 1980s.
He returned to Libya during the 2011 uprising.
General Mokhtar Farnana, speaking for Haftar’s forces, the so-called Libyan National Army, said on Libyan television Sunday that the country’s 60-member constituent assembly, elected this year to draft Libya’s new constitution, would replace parliament, the report added.