The employee, who declined to be named, said no one was hurt in the incident at the luxury Rixos hotel where foreign reporters visiting Tripoli during last year’s uprising were obliged to stay by Muammar Qaddafi’s government.
“He shot twice into the air and broke vases in the lobby. Then his men stormed in,” the employee said, as he pointed to a bullet hole in the ceiling of the reception area.
Militiamen then rushed off in their cars, taking the Turkish hotel manager with them. He was released after a few hours.
The incident came at a time when Libya’s new rulers are struggling to impose authority on a myriad of armed groups ahead of Libya’s first free elections scheduled for June.
Interior Minister Fawzi Abdel A’al has warned the militias to put down their arms or face confrontation with the new national security forces.
Officials at the Turkish embassy in Tripoli declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the brigade.
The militias spearheaded the rebellion which ousted Gaddafi last year. Some of them still occupy government buildings and man checkpoints while answering only to their own commanders.
International rights groups and the United Nations have identified the militias as one of the biggest challenges to stability as Libya tries to build new institutions after 42 years of Gaddafi’s rule.