Libya’s eastern-based government aligned with warlord Khalifa Haftar resigned Sunday amid rising protests in a number of cities over deteriorating living conditions and corruption, the Tobruk-based parliament announced on its website.

Abdullah Al-Thani, the head of the government, which is not recognized internationally, submitted its resignation to the speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, during an urgent meeting in which they discussed the protesters’ demands.

People in several eastern cities have been protesting for the last three days over the poor living conditions in the region.

Libyan Crimes Watch, a UK-based rights group, cited local media as saying that Haftar’s militias opened fire on demonstrators in Marj province, leaving one person dead and one injured.

Another local media report claimed that five people were injured in Benghazi, Bayda and Marj due to attacks by Haftar’s militias.

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The Government of National Accord (GNA) was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by forces loyal to Haftar.

The UN recognizes the government headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj as the country’s legitimate authority as Tripoli has battled Haftar’s militias since April 2019 in a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

*Writing by Fahri Aksut

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