By Al Russell.
Tripoli, 26 August:
Demolition work at the Al-Sha’ab shrine in central Tripoli has stopped, as a group of protestors occupies . . .[restrict]the site. The group, numbering no more than 30 or so, started their demonstration in fairly low-key fashion at Algeria Square at midday, standing in the middle of the roundabout with placards.
Work restarted at the shrine this morning, but the machinery is now sitting at the roadside as the group stand amongst the rubble. The road remains closed for the entire stretch in front of the hotel, but many of the security personnel previously present have left, those who remain seem uninterested by the protest and are making no attempt to clear the area. The atmosphere among the crowd of spectators on the pavement opposite is tense, it is clear that some of those present are in favour of the demolition.
A scuffle later broke out between the protestors and armed men as they made efforts to restart demolition, shouts of “God is great” came from the crowd when the digger operator abandoned his attempts to continue his work.
Despite reports of journalists being arrested for attempting to cover the demolition yesterday, an Al-Jazeera camera crew was operating at the site uninhibited this afternoon.
More details will be published as they emerge. [/restrict]