Tripoli - Libya's defence minister resigned on Tuesday in
protest at a siege by gunmen of two government ministries that he denounced as
an assault on democracy.
He was the first cabinet minister to quit in a crisis over
the siege, which armed groups refused to lift even after parliament bowed on
Sunday to their main demand by banning any senior official who served under the
late dictator Muammar Gaddafi from holding government posts.
"I will never be able to accept that politics [can] be
practiced by the power of weapons ... This is an assault against the democracy
I have sworn to protect," Defence Minister Mohammed al-Bargathi said.