Militiamen attack Libyan protesters

2013-05-11 16:27

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Tripoli - Scores of Libyan militiamen descended on an anti-Islamist rally in the nation's capital, Tripoli, kicking and beating protesters who had taken to the streets on Friday as part of a call for mass demonstrations against the country's unruly militias and Muslim radicals.

Rallies also took place in two other Libyan cities, Benghazi and Tobruk, with hundreds of activists denouncing the armed thugs and decrying what they describe as political maneuverings by the nation's Muslim Brotherhood.

For nearly two weeks, Libya has been gripped by fear of new armed conflict after militias stormed and surrounded government buildings in Tripoli, blocking access to ministries in an attempt to push parliament to pass a contentious law that would prevent members of Muammar Gaddafi 's regime from serving in senior government posts.

The turmoil appears to have sent jitters beyond Libya's borders, with the US and Britain expressing concern over the prospects of continuous unrest in the North African country.

Libyan lawmakers approved the bill during the weekend, with guns still drawn on the streets, and the militias seemed to be gradually lifting their siege in the capital. But witnesses said they remained hunkered down inside the foreign and justice ministry, paralysing the institutions and preventing employees from coming to work.

Their show of force has left many Libyans fearful over the country's rocky transition to democracy.


Read more on:    libya  |  north africa

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