Ansar quits Derna HQ in face yet larger protests; radio station torched
[Libya Herald] Derna has seen its third and largest day of protest during which Ansar Sharia abandoned its headquarters and apparently quit the town and a radical Islamic radio station was set on fire.
Crowds once again gathered at the Sahaba mosque before Asr (afternoon) prayers and then marched through the town, repeating their demands of the last two days that armed militias in the city get out and that the government send police and army units to take over security. Demonstrators returned to the mosque for Maghrib prayers and then a larger crowd, by some estimate in the thousands, again set off through the streets.
In the east of the city, some protestors broke away and attacked the Medina Radio station, which it was claimed had been broadcasting messages in support of Ansar Al-Sharia and calling for jihad. It appears that the building was Molotov cocktailed but it was unclear how badly it was damaged. One eye witness told the Libya Herald that it had not been destroyed.
The demonstration, a mix of people on foot and in cars, then moved toward the Ansar Al-Sharia headquarters by Derna's western gate,a three-storey building, once a police training college, but until the militia took it over within the last three months, a hospital clinic. A claim by one eyewitness that the procession stretched for more than a kilometre has not been verified.
"By the time we reached the place" said a protestor, "all the Ansar Al-Sharia people had left with their vehicles and weapons. They obviously knew we were coming. There were just six guards there". Orders from the guards that the by-now large crowd should go away and disburse, were ignored. So the guards themselves left in six vehicles.
Posted by: Fred 2013-12-04