Photo Courtesy The Guardian
Photo Courtesy The Guardian

Tobruk (Libya): Libya’s embattled parliament took refuge in a Greek ferry after its members had to move to the eastern town of Tobruk to escape Islamist rebels, a British daily reported.

The 17,000-tonne Elyros liner has been deployed as a floating hotel for a legislature clinging to power in the Libyan town that is the last stop before the Egyptian border, The Guardian reported. Islamists have captured Tripoli, and most of Benghazi, the country’s second city.

Derna, the next town up the coast, has been declared an Islamic caliphate and the front line begins at Tobruk airport.

The small port is home to what remains of Libya’s sovereign power.

“We need time to build up our army and security and to develop our skills to run the country,” Deputy Speaker Mohammed Ali Shuhaib was quoted as saying by the daily.

According to a UN report, about 250,000 people have fled their homes due to the recent deadly clashes in Libya’s major cities.

The country has witnessed a drastic escalation of violence since the 2011 turmoil, which toppled its former leader Muammar Gaddafi. Its political transition has since been mired in endless fights between Islamist and secular factions.