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Hundreds protest against militias in Libya's Benghazi - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BENGHAZI, (AFP) – Some 2,000 people rallied in Libya’s second city Benghazi on Friday to demand that militias made up of former rebels who helped oust dictator Moamer Kadhafi disband and join the army or police.

“Our demands are: dissolve all militias and make their members individually enter the army or police force,” activist and law student Bilal Bettamer said.

“And we want all pro-Kadhafi and Kadhafi-era criminals to be removed from the police and army. We want to end this stalemate between the army and militias,” he added.

Former rebels who have refused to join the security forces insist that the authorities first purge them of remnants of the Kadhafi regime.

Helicopters and fighter jets flew over the “Benghazi will not die” rally, which came a week after the army deployed units in the city to bolster security.

Banners read: “We want a unified army,” and “no more assassinations.”

Benghazi has witnessed a series of attacks against police stations and assassinations targeting military officers.

It has also become a focus for jihadist groups, including militants who killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in a September 11 attack on the US consulate.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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