By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 23 May 2013:
The Gargaresh road running through Al-Hendi district in western Tripoli was the scene of chaos for . . .[restrict]the second day running today, with around 60 local residents blockading it with burning tyres and firing semi automatic riffles into the air. Most of the shops in Al-Hendi district were forced to close.
The protestors were said to be members of the family and friends of Akram Shaibi, killed yesterday in a dramatic failed attempt yesterday by security forces to clear the area of drugs dealers.
Some 80 officers from the Counter Crime Agency (CCA) were sent into the Al-Hendi district yesterday afternoon to smash alleged drugs and alcohol dens. However, after a gunfight with around 60 supposed dealers and their associates, they withdrew.
Hindi has a reputation as a drugs area, and locals accuse Shuaibi of having been a major drugs realer there.
Following the botched raid, the Al-Shbabia Radio station was attacked and set on fire. According to locals, it was done by angry drugs dealers and fellow criminals.
Local residents are blaming the security forces for the continuing chaos saying that the Counter Crime Agency had started an operation but had failed to finish it.
“The government has to do something to end this situation as soon as possible,” local resident Mohamed Zraidi told the Libya Herald.
“We do not need media, we need the army and police to end up this bad situation” an elderly local said, fearing to give his name. He complained there was no security presence and public could not pass through the main street.
Attempts to contact the CCA today were unsuccessful.
It was reported yesterday that two drug dealers had been killed during the shooting. However, Essam Naas, spokesman for Tripoli Security Directorate, told the Libya Herald that only one had died. Today, however, there are as yet unconfirmed reports that an elderly woman, said to be Shaibi’s grandmother, was wounded in the raid and died in hospital this afternoon. [/restrict]