By Al Russell.
Tripoli, 25 August:
Tripoli’s famous Gazelle roundabout is under heavy guard this evening, amid rumours of an attempt to destroy . . .[restrict]its statue. The artwork, which depicts a gazelle and a naked female figure, and is in the middle of the roundabout near the capital’s Algeria Square, is protected by four police vehicles, two of which carry heavy weapons, and various armed personnel in bullet-proof vests who are marshalling traffic.
Meanwhile, demolition work has ceased for the evening at the Al-Sha’ab shrine nearby, which came under attack by Salafist extremists this morning, the bulldozers and digger are lined up on the roadside opposite the Radisson Blu Hotel. Police, military and SSC personnel were at the site throughout the day.
Reports suggest that the demolition was sanctioned by the Interior Minister, due to concerns that worshippers indulge in “black magic” at the shrine.
Mohammed Magarief, leader of the General National Congress (GNC), took to Twitter once more this evening, having earlier released a statement condemning the shrine attack via the social networking site, to announce an emergency session of the GNC tomorrow to discuss the situation.
“A session will be held tomorrow morning, including the Prime Minister, the Intelligence, Interior and Defence Ministers, following which decisions will be taken.” [/restrict]