11 Killed in Libyan Clashes

Posted September 22nd, 2012 at 1:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Libyan authorities pushed back angry crowds attacking militia bases in Benghazi Saturday, in unrest that killed at least 11 people and wounded more than 60 others.

Earlier, Libyan protesters ousted the jihadist militia Ansar al-Shariah from its headquarters and seized the bases of other armed militias in Benghazi.

The violence came after tens of thousands of Libyans marched through Benghazi Friday, demanding the disbanding of the powerful armed gangs.

Libyans held up signs in English and in Arabic with phrases including “terrorism has no place in the new Libya” and “Libya lost a friend.”

Ansar al-Shariah has been linked to the the assault that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya last week, an allegation the group denies.

Anti-militia demonstrators have also demanded the government build up the police and military forces to provide security. The protests have revealed a growing backlash against the militias.

Since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi, the militias have grown stronger, boasting arsenals of automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and pick-up trucks with heavy machine guns.