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Protesters Ask Muslim Brotherhood To Leave Libya

By Countercurrents.org

28 July, 2013

Protesting people in the eastern city of Benghazi asked the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood activists to leave Libya after assassinations of political leaders including a secular popular politician and critic of the Islamist party. People also ransacked the office of the Islamist party in Tripoli. Graffiti reading "Go shave your beards hypocrites, Libya does not need you" was sprayed on the building.

Media reports said:

Protesters attacked offices of Libya's Muslim Brotherhood on July 27, 2013 after demonstrations sparked by assassinations in Benghazi. The demonstration turned violent.

Hundreds of people took to the streets overnight to denounce the killing of a prominent secular political leader and critic of the Brotherhood, Abdelsalam al-Mosmary. He was shot dead on July 26, 2013.

Mosmary was an outspoken opponent of the Brotherhood, whose Islamist political wing is the second biggest party in the national congress. Two military officials were also killed in Benghazi on July 26.

Protesting people in Benghazi set fire to two buildings - one belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and another to its political wing, the Justice and Construction Party (JCP), witnesses said. "They shouted 'Gather your belongings. Benghazi wants you out'," Benghazi resident Rami al-Shahibi said.

In Tripoli, a crowd stormed JCP headquarters before heading on to ransack the headquarters of the liberal National Forces Alliance (NFA), the country's biggest political party founded by wartime rebel prime minister Mahmoud Jibril.

A Reuters report said:

There has been rising opposition to the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has links to several government ministers. It has struggled to convince Libyans wary of foreign interference that it has no financial or administrative links to its namesake in neighboring Egypt, whose Islamist president Mohamed Mursi was overthrown by the military on July 3.

Tensions are also high between secularists and the ruling Islamists in Tunisia, where the funeral of an assassinated secular politician was taking place on Saturday.

Many of the Libyan protesters accused the Brotherhood of being behind the killings in Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 revolution.
Abdulrahman al-Dibani, a JCP member in congress said:

"We have strongly condemned the assassination of Mosmary and all the Libyan people should hear this and not openly blame us," he said.

Bashir el-Kubti, head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, declined to comment on the attacks on the movement's offices.

Libyans are growing increasingly frustrated as they witness continuous political squabbling and lawlessness across the north African country, a major oil producer.

"The people were in the streets because they are fed up of all political parties and how the state has failed," said Hisham Idris, who had demonstrated in Tripoli's Martyrs Square. He said: "Maybe the growing opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood is because they are trying to achieve their political ambitions using religion as a cover for their agenda."

The Tripoli protesters waved Libyan flags and shouted anti- Brotherhood slogans. A group of youths then descended on the JCP offices, smashing its windows, climbing on desks, grabbing documents and throwing them in the streets.

Calm later returned to Tripoli and Benghazi but residents did not rule out more protests after Mosmary's funeral. Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral.

Citing Colonel Mohammed al-Hijazi, a Libyan security official, an earlier AFP said: Friday 26 Jul 2013

A marksman shot dead Abdessalem al-Mesmari as he emerged from Friday prayers at a mosque in Benghazi.

Abdessalem al-Mesmari, an anti-Islamist lawyer who has been campaigning for a civil state in Libya, "was killed by a single bullet to the heart." A sharpshooter probably fired the deadly bullet.

Abdessalem al-Mesmari was among the first Libyans who launched an uprising against Gadhafi in 2011 when he helped found the political wing of rebels who later overthrew the regime. After the revolution he took a prominent stand against the Muslim Brotherhood, which he accused of striving to take power in Libya despite popular discontent. "Politics is virgin ground in Libya and the Brotherhood are trying to rape it," Mesmari was quoted as saying in 2011.

In recent month Libya's second city has been hit by a wave of bombings and assassinations targeting judges, the military and police officers who worked under the ousted regime. Generally Islamists are blamed for the attacks.

Citing a security official an AP report said:

About 1,200 inmates have escaped from a jail in Benghazi. The jailbreak comes a day after the assassination of a prominent political activist triggered protests in the city, although it is not clear whether the two are connected.
In a news conference, the Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said residents in the southern area of the city had stormed the prison in protest at its existence in their district.

Quoting a security official an AFP report said:

There had been unrest inside the prison before the breakout. "There was a riot inside al-Kwafiya prison, as well as an attack from outside," said the official.






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