Screeners find hand grenade in Libyan lawmaker's handbag

Story highlights

  • General National Congress member Souad Soltan was headed to meetings in Tripoli
  • Her handbag set off a screening machine alarm at the Tripoli Local Council headquarters
  • When guards asked Soltan what was in the bag, she declared the grenade
  • "I receive threats on a daily basis" she told the Libya Herald newspaper
Security guards in Tripoli stopped a Libyan lawmaker Wednesday after they found a hand grenade in her handbag, the city council said in a statement.
The General National Congress member, Souad Soltan, had arrived for meetings at the headquarters of the Tripoli Local Council, and as she put her handbag through a screening machine, it set off an alarm, the statement said.
When guards asked Soltan what was in the bag, she declared the grenade, which the she said was for self-protection.
According to the statement, she went on to attend the meeting after she handed in the grenade.
Soltan asked for the grenade back after the meeting, but security guards refused to return it until members of the criminal investigation department arrived at the building.
"I receive threats on a daily basis" she told the English-language Libya Herald newspaper Wednesday.
She told the paper her son had been kidnapped to get at her and she carries the grenade for self-defense.
The Tripoli Local Council said it released the statement on its official Facebook page after false reports claiming the lawmaker had been detained.
More than two years after the fall of the Gadhafi regime, Libya is awash in weapons and militias and an increasing state of lawlessness.
Libyan officials have frequently been intimidated, threatened and targeted by armed groups.
Last month, a militia in Tripoli briefly kidnapped Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, and another militia released him a few hours later.
On Sunday, Mostafa Noah, the deputy head of the country's intelligence services, was reported to have been abducted by an armed group. According to state media, he was later released.