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Gaddafi Supporters Spark Conflict at Cairo International Book Fair | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Gaddafi Supporters Spark Conflict at Cairo International Book Fair

Cairo- Libyan factional dispute has broadened reaching all the way to the annual Cairo International Book Fair. On Jan.3 a violent altercation broke featuring supporters of the late Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi on one hand, and those who opposed him on the other. The greatest share of abuse at the quarrel targeted Abdel Rahman Shalgham, former Foreign Minister of Libya.

The quarrel escalated from verbal insults to physical attacks and tossing equipment and eggs. Egyptian security forces interfered to control the situation, which ruptured during a session held on counter-extremism culture dealing with the Libyan current situation.

Gaddafi supporters accused Shalgham for being a US proxy. All the allegations were based on the glory they saw in Gaddafi as Arabian leader and revolutionist, and denounced how Shalgham resorted to the U.N. Security Council for NATO to intervene.

Gaddafi supporters blamed the bloody aftermath of ushering foreign interference, which they believe has killed families, on Shalgham. They also referred to him with “ISIS’s beloved”.

The former FM was attacked by rioters whom resorted to throwing water bottles and eggs at him, and made an attempt for direct assault. The Seminar’s organizers were forced to sneak Shalgham out. Spectators told Asharq Al-Awsat that after pro-Gaddafi banners were raised and protests rising against Shalgham, the fair’s authorities intervened cancelling the whole seminar, and bringing in security forces.

In a comment, Khaled Najem, eye witness to the quarrel and former head of media and culture in Libya, said that extremists don’t see the wider picture. Najem, in announcements he made to the official website of Libya’s Channel, said that the purpose behind the seminar was to merge journalists and civilized personnel who were accounted to belong to the previous government in Libya, to align them as one for the better of saving their homeland from terrorism.

The annual Cairo International Book Fair had has kicked off its 47th annual activities on Jan. 27, in the Nasr City (east of Cairo) hosting 34 participating countries.