Econintersect: A report from NBC tonight states:
Hundreds of Libyan protesters stormed the compound of Ansar al Sharia in Benghazi Friday night, driving out its militant occupants and setting fire to the compound, in an unprecedented public backlash against armed groups that have run rampant in the country since the 2011 ouster of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
At least one person was killed and 20 wounded in the confrontation, a hospital source told Reuters on Saturday.
Earlier in the day Friday (20 September 2012) an estimated 30,000 marched to the compound of several militia groups, including that of Ansar al Sharia, the militant al-Qaeda related group that was responsible for the attack on the U.S. embassey last week that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.
Protesters also seized control of several other militia headquarters locations in Benghazi Friday night, turning them over to the Libyan army and forcing the militia members to flee. Libyan citizens have finally taken action after being frustrated by the militias refusing to disarm and disband following the revolution in the summer of 2011.
According to The New York Times, the U.S. Embassy attack and the death of Ambassador Stevens was part of the catalyst for the actions, but not the only one. Stevens had been very popular with Libyans because of his proactive work with the rebels after they toppled Muammar el-Qaddaf.
This action appears to be an answer to the question of how come people in the Arab world don’t stand up to extremists and terrorists. The answer is that in Libya, at least at this time, the citizens have stood up.
- Protesting Libyans overrun militant compound in backlash against armed groups (NBC, 22 September 2012)
- Angry Libyans Target Militias, Forcing Flight (Suliman Ali Zway and Kareem Fahim, The New York Times, 21 September 2012)