By Ashraf Abdul Wahab
Tripoli, 14 April 2013
Police and security forces this morning cleared a large illegal community in the Ain Zara . . .[restrict]neighbourhood of Tripoli in an early morning raid. There was some gunfire and violent resistance from some of the scores of occupants, described by the police as “gang members”, when the authorities moved in with bulldozers. An undeclared number of arrests was made.
The entire area in what is know as the “Diplomacy Neighbourhood” was surrounded before the police moved in. The aim of the operation was to demolish illegally-erected buildings, some of which had completely blocked the main thoroughfare and forced the diversion of traffic, creating a no-go zone for outsiders, including the police.
After the buildings, which included nine significant structures, had been cleared of their occupants, they were searched for evidence of crime and concealed occupants, before their demolition began.
The obstruction of the highway, said police, had forced locals to take a long route to reach the main road system. The occupants of the community had also hooked up to the electricity supply and were stealing power. The public prosecutor’s office said today that they would face fines and charges for the electricity they had stolen.
A police source said that staff from the Tunisian and Egyptian consulates had been on hand during the raid, to help deal with any of their nationals caught in the round-up.