Mass strike paralyzes Benghazi; airport closed

0 commentsViews: 7

Mass strike paralyzes Benghazi; airport closedBENGHAZI: Public and private sector staff including oil workers went on strike in the Libyan port city of Benghazi on Sunday, protesting against worsening security and demanding the resignation of Parliament whose mandate has expired.
Traffic at Benghazi’s international airport was halted by the strike. As a result, a Turkish Airlines plane was turned away, according to state media.
Oil companies, universities and schools also closed, heeding a call by political groups for a day of “civil disobedience” to demand better security, witnesses said.
Government forces have failed to improve security in the port city where car bombs and killings of police and army officers have become part of daily life.
Most foreigners left Benghazi after the US ambassador to Libya was killed in an assault on the US Consulate in September 2012.
The strikers want Libya’s General National Congress (GNC) assembly to resign immediately. The GNC’s initial mandate expired on Feb. 7 but a date as yet to be set for a new election.
Meanwhile, a jihadi group in Libya says it plans to take over security in the restive eastern town of Derna and establish Islamic law, in a posting on Facebook. Witnesses said the group “Majlis Shoura of Youth in Derna” staged a show of force on Friday, parading through the town armed to the teeth.
Photographs on the group’s Facebook page show dozens of masked men in military uniform in pickup trucks, armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers, machine guns and anti-aircraft cannon. They also brandish black and white jihadi banners.
“We announce the formation of a legal committee to settle differences between people and arrange reconciliations on the basis of Shariah,” the group said in a statement. It said it would ensure security in Derna, and rejected “the laws of miscreants” and “institutions which violate the laws of God.”
“We also declare our hostility toward the enemies of God and his Prophet — Jews, Christians and Taghouts.”
“Taghouts” is a derogatory term used by jihadis to describe state institutions, in particular the intelligence services.
State institutions hold no sway in Derna, where radicals have laid down the law since dictator Muammar Qaddafi was toppled and killed in 2001.

Leave a Reply