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Gunmen surround Libya's foreign ministry

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-29 02:54

TRIPOLI - Dozens of gunmen on Sunday surrounded Libya's foreign ministry in downtown Tripoli to demand a ban against those working under the former regime from holding senior positions.

The gunmen, who claimed to have come from across the country, blocked the main streets near the foreign ministry using heavy weapons and military trucks.

The workers of the foreign ministry evacuated the building at the gunmen's demand.

In the meantime, another group of gunmen surrounded the interior ministry, criticizing the government's performance.

Sunday's sieges were aiming to push for the approval of a law that forbids slain leader Muammar Gaddafi's officials from entering senior posts in the new government. The gunmen gave Libya's legislature, the General National Congress (GNC), until Tuesday to pass the isolation law.

Adel Gharyani, a spokesman for the gunmen, said the new government "enabled the symbols of the former regime in leadership positions -- ambassadors and diplomats, and that the foreign ministry had many supporters of Gaddafi.

He called on the GNC to withdraw its confidence in Prime Minister Ali Zaidan's government. "Our demand is clear. The Libyan authorities should be cleansed of all symbols of the former regime. "

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