Pro-Salafist rally in Libya's Benghazi turns violent
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Libyan demonstrators lobbed hand grenades at security forces and set cars ablaze after a rally in Benghazi on Friday in support of a hardline Salafist group which was evicted from the second city.
More than 200 men converged on Benghazi's Al-Jalaa Hospital, which was guarded by members of Ansar al-Sharia
...a Yemeni Islamist militia which claims it is not part of al-Qaeda, even though it works about the same and for the same ends...
until Friday of last week, when anti-militia protesters forced them out, an AFP correspondent reported.
"We want Ansar al-Sharia to come back and protect this hospital," a placard read.
The crowd then marched on a nearby security forces building.
Interior ministry forces fired warning shots in the air from inside the base. Demonstrators responded by throwing hand grenades at the outer walls and torching two parked cars.
Troops arrived quickly on the scene and the crowd dispersed. Some 25 soldiers took up position around the building.
"There is no loss of life -- we have taken control of the situation," General Manaa bin Hamid of the army's newly created National Mobile Force told AFP. He added that the identity of the assailants was unknown.
The rally comes a week after mass demonstrations against militias ended in the eviction of several paramilitary groups from Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 revolt that toppled Moamer Qadaffy.
Ansar al-Sharia has been accused of but denied involvement in a September 11-12 assault on the US consulate in the city which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Posted by: Fred