Arab Spring… Hundreds of Libyan Protesters Loot Government Headquarters, Torch Cars and Chuck Grenades
Libyans damage the car of National Transitional Council (NTC) Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil, to express their dissatisfaction towards the policy of the Council in governing the country, in Benghazi January 21, 2012. People in Benghazi, birthplace of the revolt which forced out former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, have been protesting for weeks to demand the sacking of Gaddafi-era officials and more transparency about how the NTC is spending Libyan assets. (REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori)
Hundreds of angry Libyans tossed grenades at the government headquarters before storming the building and carting off computers, chairs, and desks. They also torched the interim leader’s Land Cruiser.
My Way reported:
Hundreds of angry Libyans on Saturday stormed the transitional government’s headquarters in the eastern city of Benghazi, carting off computers, chairs, and desks while the country’s interim leader was still holed up in the building.
Libyans have grown increasingly frustrated with the pace and direction of reforms in the country more than three months after the end of the civil war that ousted longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Those concerns spurred residents in Benghazi, where the uprising against longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi broke out in February, to begin protests nearly two weeks ago to demand transparency and justice from the country’s new leaders.
The melee at the National Transitional Council’s headquarters began after protesters broke through the gates using hand grenades and streamed into the grounds of the headquarters. They banged on the building’s doors and demanded officials meet with them.
In a bid to calm tensions, NTC chief Mustafa Abdul-Jalil tried to address the crowd from a second-floor window, but protesters began throwing bottles at him.
Protesters then torched Abdul-Jalil’s armored Land Cruiser and broke into the headquarters itself, smashing windows to get inside and cart off furniture and electronics.
A security official in the building said a team of some 50 guards dressed as civilians were trying to calm the protesters.
Chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council (C) Abdul Jalil talks to protesters, who were wounded from the war, at the NTC headquarters in Benghazi January 21, 2012. People in Benghazi, birthplace of the revolt which forced out former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, have been protesting for weeks to demand the sacking of Gaddafi-era officials and more transparency about how the NTC is spending Libyan assets. (REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori)