An armed group stormed the municipal council of Qubbah, east Libya, late on Thursday, and wreaked havoc on the building, sources say.
Libya al-Khabar news website said gunmen loyal to Khalifa Haftar stormed the building and set two offices on fire demanding disclosure of the municipal spending since it took up responsibilities over the town over a year ago.
Earlier, Dignity Operation activists held a protest demanding the dismissal of the municipal council and replacing it with a military governor instead. The speaker of the House of Representatives, Aqilah Saleh, who lives in the town of Qubbah, promised to look into these demands and submit them to the military governor, Abdel-Razek Nadori.
“These incidents were with the blessing of Khalifa Haftar, after differences arose with Aqilah Saleh against the backdrop of the meeting between the latter and the President of the High Council of State Abdul Rahman Al-Sawaihli in Rome.” Libya al-Khabar quoted observers as saying.
The observers also viewed the incidents as a clear message from Haftar that he could reach down to the base of tribal influence of Aqilah Saleh in Qubbah, especially as the municipal council is composed of pro-Aqilah members.
Khalifa Haftar supporters in Qubbah had held several protests outside Aqilah Saleh's house demanding him to step down. The latest one was last month when the supporters of the retired General gathered the house and shouted slogans calling for Khalifa Haftar to be the ruler of Libya.