3 years ago
robertr
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Chaos in Libya
Dozens of peo­ple were killed in the Libyan cap­i­tal, Trip­oli, on Fri­day af­ter mili­ti­a­men opened fire on un­armed pro­test­ers, set­ting off some of the worst vi­o­lence in the cap­i­tal since the re­volt against Col. Muam­mar el-Qaddafi al­most three years ago. The blood­shed at the pro­test on Fri­day af­ter­noon quick­ly de­volved in­to clash­es in­volv­ing armed cit­i­zens and ri­val mili­tias, wit­ness­es said. At hos­pi­tals, bod­ies ar­rived man­gled by heavy-weapons fire. Air force jets flew sor­ties over the city, as pick­up trucks car­ry­ing re­in­force­ments of fight­ers raced to the clash­es. The pro­test that led to the vi­o­lence was part of a ris­ing tide of cit­i­zen an­ger against Libya’s mul­ti­tude of mili­tias, made up of thou­sands of men who fought Colo­nel Qaddafi’s forces and nev­er laid down their arms. The mili­tias have fed Libya’s chron­ic in­se­cu­rity, fight­ing among them­selves while ex­ert­ing con­trol over vi­tal in­stal­la­tions and even re­sources like oil. Fight­ers pledge loy­alty to their com­man­ders, tribes or towns, rather than the weak cen­tral gov­ern­ment.
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