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Libya moves parliament to hotel in response to assault on chamber

| Monday, March 3, 2014, 6:00 p.m.

TRIPOLI — Libya's parliament moved into a five-star Tripoli hotel on Monday when rioters armed with knives and guns on Sunday stormed the legislature building, torching furniture, killing a guard and wounding six lawmakers in the latest episode of turmoil in the country.

Tensions have been mounting between the country's biggest political blocs, each backed by militias, adding to the potential explosiveness of political disputes. Protesters demanded that parliament be disbanded immediately after its mandate ran out in January.

Dozens of protesters swept into the parliament chamber while it was in session, shooting guns, throwing bottles at lawmakers and setting fire to furniture. They took the seat of the parliament's president — the head of a main Islamist bloc — tied it to a lamppost outside and set it on fire.

A guard was killed while trying to protect workers trapped inside, security official Essam al-Naass said. Two lawmakers were shot in their legs, one was injured with broken glass and others were beaten while trying to leave the premises.

Lawmaker Hussein al-Ansari said the parliament will hold its sessions in the five-star Waddan hotel in the capital's downtown.

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