Breaking: Clashes outside pres. building in Libya’s Tripoli

Clashes broke out in front of the presidential building in Tripoli on Wednesday as militants engaged in a gun battle with guards of the prime minister of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj, according to Al Arabiya.

An armed group reportedly from Misrata, a Libyan city east of Tripoli, fired at the guards after they attempted to escort al-Sarraj and his government members from the presidential building, reported sources to Al Arabiya.

Reports from Wednesday afternoon suggested that gunmen were still surrounding the presidential palace, and confirmed that al-Sarraj had been inside the building during the initial exchange of fire.

Al-Sarraj is the head of one of the main factions of the Libyan civil war, the GNA, which is fighting against a range of groups including main rival the Libyan National Army (LNA), headed by Gen. Khalifa Haftar.

The LNA criticized the deal on drilling in the Mediterranean struck this week between the GNA and Turkey, which has been accused of disregarding the lawful rights of other eastern Mediterranean countries and widely criticized.

The Turkish president signed the alleged MoU with a man that has lost control even of the streets outside his office.