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Fighters attack Libyan government HQ

The former rebels are angry at the decision by the government to stop stipends over corruption and fraudFormer Libyan fighters demanding unpaid stipends have attacked and surrounded the headquarters of the interim government, witnesses say.

The attack on Tuesday left three dead and several others wounded, according to an interior ministry official.

A defence ministry spokesperson confirmed there were dead and injured, but he did not know casualty numbers.

"Many men encircled the building and opened fire against it with weapons including anti-aircraft cannons," a government employee present during the attack told the AFP news agency.

Several lorries mounted with anti-aircraft guns surrounded the building in central Tripoli, blocking traffic, the witnesses said.

The headquarters has previously been attacked, but our correspondent said that one of the fighters he spoke to described Tuesday's attack as the most serious.

Nasser al-Manaa, an interim government spokesperson, said the defence minister was negotiating with the fighters, who "came in protest over [unpaid] stipends", referring to a reward scheme for those who fought against Muammar Gaddafi's regime last year.

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