TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — A Libyan official says protesters have stormed the main headquarters of major telecommunication companies, disrupting Internet service to the country's west and south.
Atef al-Bahari, a senior official in the telecommunication ministry, said Saturday that dozens stormed the companies' offices in Tripoli and were holding staff there hostage, disrupting the Internet in Tripoli too.
Al-Bahari said it appears the protesters are reacting to eastern militias shutting down oil terminals since this summer. He said negotiations are ongoing through tribal leaders to end the standoff.
Libya has been roiled by unrest since the ouster in 2011 of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Heavily armed groups that fought Gadhafi's army have turned themselves into militias that exploit the weak central government in Tripoli.