Libyans Turn in Arms in Collection Push

Posted September 29th, 2012 at 6:45 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Hundreds of Libyans are turning in their weapons at collection points in the capital, Tripoli, and the eastern city of Benghazi.

Several men lined up at Martyrs' Square in the capital and Liberty Square in Benghazi, weapons and ammunition in hand, in an effort Saturday to help the Libyan army rid the streets of arms left over from last year's revolution.

Tens of thousands of Libyans rose up in protest against militia groups and marched through Benghazi earlier this month after an assault at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

The protesters seized bases of armed militias in Benghazi and ousted the jihadist militia Ansar al-Shariah from its headquarters. Ansar al-Shariah has been linked to the consulate assault but has denied the allegation.

Libyan President Mohammed el-Magarief has characterized the deadly September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate as a “pre-planned attack of terrorism.” The U.S. government initially said the attack erupted amid a large protest about a U.S.-made film that mocked the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, but administration officials confirmed this week that the attack was indeed a “planned” terrorist attack.