Anti-militia protesters marched today in Benghazi.
Protesters take part in a march in Benghazi city, September 21, 2012. Thousands of Libyans marched in Benghazi on Friday in support of democracy and against the Islamist militias that Washington blames for an attack on the U.S. consulate last week that killed four Americans including the ambassador. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)
30,000 peace activists marched in Benghazi today in a mass protest against Islamic militias. It was a terrific event until the Islamists fired on the protesters wounding 8 people.
Russia Today reported:
Islamist militiamen have opened fire on pro-government demonstrators who stormed their headquarters in Benghazi, Libya, as thousands took to the streets to rally against militias on Friday. Eight people have reportedly been wounded.
Pro-democracy activists entered the headquarters of the Islamist militia, Ansar al-Sharia, evicting the militiamen and setting fire to their building. The incident took place in the city that became the cradle of last year’s uprising against Muammar Gaddafi regime.
Reuters correspondents heard gunfire coming from the direction of the compound. The agency quoted an ambulance driver as saying that at least eight people had been wounded.
“We entered here to give the place to the national security forces,” activist Musaf al-Sheikhy said, according to Reuters.
The “Rescue Benghazi day” demonstration drew tens of thousands of people discontent with armed Islamist militias.Anger has boiled over with the groups refusing to give up their weapons and repeatedly disobeying the new Libyan government, threatening stability in post-Gaddafi Libya.
“No to armed formations” and “Yes to the Libyan army”, read some banners used by demonstrators.
“I don’t want to see armed men wearing Afghani-style clothes stopping me in the street to give me orders, I only want to see people in uniform,” Omar Mohammed, a university student who took part in the takeover of the Islamist headquarters, told AP.
The activists demanded the central government disband militias and also condemned last week’s attack on the US embassy in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.