Armed men aim their weapons from a vehicle as smoke rises in the background near the General National Congress in Tripoli May 18, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)
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Forces loyal to a rogue Libyan general attacked the country's parliament Sunday, expanding his eastern offensive against Islamists into the heart of the capital.The troops of Gen. Khalifa Hifter targeted Islamist lawmakers and officials, his spokesman Mohammad al-Hegazi told Libya's al-Ahrar television station.Hegazi said Hifter blames the officials for allowing extremists forces to exert considerable influence in the country. His troops struck two Islamists militia bases Friday in Benghazi, the country's second-largest city, setting off clashes that killed 70 people, the Health Ministry said. Forces loyal to the interim parliament set up checkpoints around the parliament, sending journalists away.The spokesman said the attacking forces are suspected members of the Al-Qaaqaa and Sawaaq militias, the largest in the capital. Hifter, who once headed the army under Gadhafi but defected in the 1980s, had been assigned to help rebuild the country's military, but he was removed soon after.
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