UN expresses grave concern as protests erupt in Benghazi

REUTERS/STAFF/File Photo

Protesters set fire to the government’s HQ in Benghazi, as demonstrations over living conditions and corruption continued in the east of the country for a third day.

The protests also took place in Al-Bayda, where the government was previously based, in Sabha in the south, and for the first time in Al-Marj, a stronghold of eastern based commander Khalifa Haftar, witnesses said.

According to various international news agency reports, including Reuters, Al-Marj residents said there were clashes between security personnel and protesters, and heavy gunfire could be heard in videos posted on social media. The U.N. mission to Libya expressed “grave concern” at reports that one civilian had been killed, three injured, and others arrested in the town.

Libya has been split into rival camps with parallel institutions in the east and west since 2014. Eastern Libya and much of the south is controlled by Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), which is aligned with a government and a rump parliament also based in the east.

The government, which holds little real power, submitted its resignation to the parliament on Sunday.