Rogue General Attacks Libyan Parliament in Tripoli

About 150 U.S. troops flown into nearby Sicily as a precaution.
3:00 | 05/19/14

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Transcript for Rogue General Attacks Libyan Parliament in Tripoli
-- An army general gone rogue telling his -- -- open fire against the government. Trying to take over in a military coup. US forces now in the region because of security since. Right now the international hot spot Tripoli Libya. Hello everyone I'm Susan -- -- in New York a brazen attack in parliament a general who was once a strong US ally in Libya. Now targeting government officials. The attack coming in the capital of Tripoli about 600 miles away from the city of Ben Ghazi where four American diplomats were killed and 2012. Now about a 150 US troops are on standby on the island of Sicily. For more on the story we're joined now by Irish times correspondent -- FitzGerald in Tripoli. Mary tell us how and why did this attack happened. -- -- attack comes on the heels. Classes in the restive eastern city of -- about -- on Friday between the forces loyal to about our. -- general. Hector and implement -- in the city. Our has basically that that he won skill -- not how extremists and they -- that he claims are being back. By elements within the national congress the democratically elected congress here in Tripoli. And yesterday there -- and a -- and a -- On the congress. An adult -- that lawyers kept our. Basically acted headquarters. And two people reportedly killed in the clashes that followed -- and many others injured. Militia leader related and later declared. The but congress has been suspended it was going to be replaced. -- -- -- -- -- Now that is not the case that congress members have spoken to today say they expect to vote on the proposed new cabinet. Act tomorrow as -- At the prime minister -- atlas that attending a construction exhibition here in Tripoli today -- -- -- an effort on the part of the authorities to. But that does business as usual. Image well below underneath we know that pensions are are rising considerably here in -- -- can -- a little bit more who is Khalifa have -- the man. Behind this attacked who declared parliament suspended. -- commitment Hitler had that very checkered history here and Libya and it involved in and it is it'll make it wore -- And that is probably -- the people who -- and here in Libya he. After -- hot war met for the US where it many many years and aren't had US support he returned to Libya NG eleven during the uprising against about it -- -- During which he was at that point -- under rebel forces. And and -- he would basically been trying to drum up some. -- -- -- In February he act -- for the suspension of the government and congress in order to it he put it rescue the country. The move that was denounced by then prime minister al-Qaeda hasn't attempted coup and they got -- for his regrets. Get there are left for eastern Libya where he spent several months trying to drum up support -- -- -- But as he mentioned this is someone who was an ally of the United States. Yes indeed that that would fit in the he's -- -- -- but I am I expect actually appear Libya today. Not just last week secretary of state John Kerry said and I quote we hope that in the days ahead we're going to be able to help. To find a way to help the Libyan people to move forward to have the kind of stability in peaceful governance that they aspire to. Not politically speaking hollow unstable is -- right now. Well one of the biggest challenges for me is how -- central government here in Tripoli -- It hosted that party throughout the country it has really failed to do. So it an athlete of the country and -- a couple of Beers. There's also the challenge presented by the hundreds -- but it is that -- jury and doctor. The uprising against them -- give up in 2000 and -- -- -- the militias that attack congress yesterday. Did not actually -- the uprising against that people at work or after he was out -- This issue up -- some of them. Let me ask the seller but how anomaly coming under the -- -- -- at the state. They they basically one of the biggest problems here at -- -- right now and that certainly the protection. Mostly. Also went through -- -- -- that the current crisis is this question of legitimacy. The militias to attack the congress yesterday claimed that it has -- legitimacy. Yes it was a democratically elected body but they claimed that it extended. Mandate earlier this year means it has not popular legitimacy. And that is that very -- important question here in -- right now. Legitimacy -- weren't legitimate -- -- water that legitimate institutions. Who complain legitimacy. -- -- Primary we hear about fighting in the outskirts and remote regions in Libya how rare is it that there's an attack on the capital. In parliament of all places. Yesterday was the first time that there -- been crashes. Congress are indeed here in Tripoli -- -- Quite regularly and that it between at different factions. -- the congress itself there have been -- -- right. -- militias but -- congress yesterday. Again the congress itself an individual congress members and separate these militias they -- anti Islamist militias -- -- -- -- limits members of congress support certain initiatives. They basically issues congress not to make and they told me they had several hours -- otherwise they would -- concert by these militias. This has been an ongoing. Issue over the last -- month. Room and the government's response as he mentioned has been confusing. Trying to make it seem like business as usual on one hand why are they taking this approach. While I think -- A lot going on behind the scenes here and what I hear is that negotiations are taking place today to try and -- -- -- spent -- situation. And what I'm told is that those negotiations that -- had been quite heated. Because there it -- Timeout Barry increased tension. Here in Tripoli so I think in -- trying to dampen down and made the public's concern. There is an effort by the authorities trying to prevent me. -- Business as usual I think people here in the capital. Area apprehend that. That -- maybe to come. We understood. Now what's on the minds of many Americans was the attack and then Ghazi that killed four American diplomats including the US ambassador -- bottom line. Is it safe in Libya. Cola. -- countries are advising their citizens against. -- travelling to Libya right now and there. We have the highest security. In the country at the moment there -- very few foreigners -- -- right now I'm -- today at the very diplomatic missions. Diplomatic missions -- Infatuated some stuff in recent days say the real sense that that that this situation is deteriorating. -- Irish times correspondent Mary FitzGerald thank you for joining us. You can keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news at and starring this story for exclusive updates on the -- You've been watching international hot spot I'm Susan -- me in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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