TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI, Libya, July 1 (Reuters) – Fury against Libya’s embattled leaders boiled over on Friday as protesters stormed the parliament building in the eastern city of Tobruk and staged the biggest protest since years in the capital Tripoli, to the west.
Protesters in Tobruk, accusing the parliament of treason and theft of public funds, some eight years after its election, broke into the building and set parts of it on fire as the armed forces retreated.
In videos uploaded and confirmed by residents of the city, protesters shouted and cheered as flames licked the side of the building.
As political factions vied for control of the government after failing to hold elections scheduled for last year, Libya was pushed back towards territorial division and civil war as state services gradually crumbled.
Protests over chronic power cuts have brought protesters to the streets of several cities, braving the wrath of armed factions to vent their anger at failures that have made life intolerable during the sweltering summer months.
In Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square, several hundred people gathered to shout slogans demanding electricity, criticizing armed factions and politicians and demanding elections in the capital’s biggest protests against the ruling elite in decades. years.
Later Friday, dozens of protesters stood outside the government headquarters building, chanting “we want power, we want power.”
Other demonstrations by dozens of protesters also took place in Benghazi, al-Baydha and Misrata and some smaller towns, showing how anger over the situation extends to the front lines of power between rival forces of the country.