Libya General
Libya General Khalifa Haftar @faisalalshrafi

A Libyan general has called for the suspension of the interim parliament and the formation of a presidential committee amid rumours that a coup d'état was under way in the troubled country.

Major General Khalifa Haftar reportedly took control of Libya's main institutions and announced the radical move with a televised statement.

"The national command of the Libyan army is declaring a movement for the new road map," Haftar said adding that the armed forces were calling for the country to be "rescued" from its upheaval.

"We will hold meeting with different parties and groups regarding implementing this roadmap," he said.

Haftar, who defected after the Chad war, moved to the US and returned to Libya during the 2011 uprising. He called for the formation of a presidential committee headed by the Supreme Court and the appointment of a new Prime Minister.

Reuters reported that there was no sign of any troop movement outside the Parliament in Tripoli.

The US ambassador to Libya Safira Deborah tweeted:

Following Haftar's statement, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said that the situation in the country was "under control".

"We won't let anyone hijack the LIbyan revolution," he said on public TV. "The military command has given orders to arrest Haftar with the help of the revolution troops following his communique."

Libya, since the fall of Gaddafi, is chaotic, with its fragile government and armed forces unable to impose their authority on competing political factions and the brigades of former rebels who refuse to disarm.