Tripoli, 4 November:
Long queues have been forming at petrol stations in and around Tripoli following a blockade of the refinery at . . .[restrict]Zawia by revolutionaries demanding that injured colleagues be treated abroad.
The blockade started early this morning, but it is reported that petrol in the town itself ran out fairly rapidly, forcing drivers to head to Tripoli to fill up.
Panic buying by Tripoli drivers is also a reason for the queues in the capital. Zawia provides much of the petrol in western Libya.
By mid day, taxi drivers on the Tunisian border were putting up prices to drive people to Tripoli and were refusing to switch on the air conditioning to save fuel.
The revolutionaries say they will continue to blockade the refinery until the new government accedes to their demands. They claim that in Zawia alone there are 150 injured revolutionaries. A spokesman for the group said that some need multiple surgery and that this has to be done abroad.
The previous government of Abdurrahim Al-Kib clamped down hard in sending wounded Libyans abroad after the system was spectacularly abused. It ended up costing Libya over $3 billion. The present policy is that revolutionaries and other Libyans will be treated abroad only if the treatment required is not available in Libya. [/restrict]