UK & World News
Islamist Militia Ousted From Benghazi Bases
An Islamist militia has been driven out of Benghazi by cheering crowds in a surge of protest against the armed groups that control large parts of Libya.
A spokesman for the ousted group, Ansar al Sharia, claimed they had evacuated their bases "to preserve security in the city".
Hundreds of protesters angry over last week's killing of the US ambassador stormed the compounds of the Islamic extremist militias suspected of carrying out the attack.
But the crowd went on to attack a pro-government militia, believing them to be Islamists, triggering an armed response in which at least 11 people were killed and more than 60 wounded.
The invasion of its compound, which met little resistance, appeared to be part of a coordinated sweep of militia bases by police, government troops and activists following a 30,000-strong demonstration against militia units in Benghazi on Friday.
Demonstrators pulled down militia flags and set a vehicle on fire inside what was once the base of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's security forces.
Hundreds of men waving swords and even a meat cleaver chanting "Libya, Libya", "No more al Qaeda!" and "The blood we shed for freedom shall not go in vain!"
One of the demonstrators Hassan Ahmed said: "After what happened at the American consulate, the people of Benghazi had enough of the extremists.
"They did not give allegiance to the army. So the people broke in and they fled."
Other signs mourned the killing of the ambassador, reading: "The ambassador was Libya's friend" and "Libya lost a friend."
Libya has struggled to control the heavily-armed militias which sprang up to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi's regime.
A new wave of hostility towards them was sparked when US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died in the September 11 attack on the Benghazi embassy.
Many Libyans have expressed outrage at the attack on the US consulate, which followed a protest triggered by an anti-Islam film made in America.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that the killings were a "terrorist attack", and White House spokesman Jay Carney said those responsible may have links to al Qaeda.
While Libya's militia groups claim they are protectors of the nation's revolution, some say they act like gangs, detaining and intimidating rivals and carrying out killings.
"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," said Omar Mohammed, a university student who took part in the protests.
Activists and residents have also held a sit-in for the past eight days outside the Sahaba Mosque in the city of Darna.
"The killing of the ambassador blew up the situation. It was disastrous," said Ayoub al Shedwi, a young Muslim preacher in Darna. "We felt that the revolution is going in vain."
what do you think?
Does this mean there are those who can reason the situation out?
And look at the numbers, 30,000! Far bigger than any of the anti West protests. Could it be that "times they are a changin"....
How wonderful is that ? there are decent people involved after all I wish them luck but urge them caution and not to listen to some non existent `god`
Well said Tracy. I wonder what the usual west haters here have to say about this. It certainly won't fit in with the usual propaganda they spout from their soap boxes.
I agree Tracy except that these people have nothing to do with God!
Mob rule is not wonderful
Good news, was starting to loose respect for muslims but more of the likes of this is welcomed!
Other news sources report that a small militia base was taken, unfortunately the main militia base greeted the protestors with heavy machine gun fire. The media were portraying these same militia as heroes and now they are the bad guys, funny old world isn't it?
Despite the gun fire the main base was still taken
You're a hoot John. Because this item doesn't fit with your anti western propaganda, it suddenly becomes a small base. Funny how your "Other News Sources" always contradict anything positive. Just pick out what you want to see, regardless of the truth old bean. Quite sad really.
just keep swallowing the propaganda Alex old bean, these islamic jihadists were the flavour of the month a short time back now they are the bad guys. The west even equipped them with an airforce. All a bit confusing isn't it?
Islamic jihadists were never flavour of the month. Only in your warped imagination. Your attempts to change the subject are pathetic to say the least. These people have just demonstrated their support for what was done for them, and you just can't hack it. Just as I expected. I'm leaving this now as I won't grant you a soap box for you usual irrelevant anti western garbage.
Prior to the blitz on Gaddafi's Libya one of the "rebel" leaders stated on Newsnight to Jeremy Paxman that "Our young men travel to Afghanistan to fight the invaders" and by invaders Alex old fruit he meant British and US troops. William Hague and his chums were singing their praises and providing them with an airforce. Don't you realise that your viewpoint is a tad blinkered?
Mob rule! Fantastic!
when will some of you on here get it. the west for years have been involved in the middle east as there are vast amounts of natural resources. the majority of people hate fanatics, i can assure you on that like i believe the vast majority of people in England would not vote for bnp, get out the middle east let them fight between themselves and trust me we can get rid of the fanatics by ourselves, but the more you are there pretending you are helping people the more these fanatics gain power. take Africa there are many dictators and murders happening there but no one cares as there is no money there. i also believe in a macro economics level that an unstable middle east is much better for the world then a stable one. we live in a dog eat dog world business/power/war have the same models. another scary thing recently is this china and japan situation. i guess all is fair in love and war
Good. Contrary to those on here who condemn all muslim countries as seething masses of fanatics, ordinary people are beginning to take back their revolution that has been overshadowed by these fanatics trying to hijack it. 30,000 demonstrators! This is the real voice of the Arab Spring and needs to be repeated across the Arab world. And this is an example of how ordinary people can settle their own destinies without the constant interference from 'outside powers' like the UN, NATO and Russia and China. They should form local defence committees to continue this work and be able to organise at the drop of a hat AND, more importantly, begin to organise their societies democratically from below.