By Nora Ibrahim and Ayman Amzein.
Benghazi, 16 October 2015:
There were at least two explosions not far from today’s anti-Leon demonstration in . . .[restrict]Benghazi’s Kish Square, but they failed to deter the crowd of at least a thousand. Some estimates put the crowd at two thousand.
Video footage showed people turning toward the sound of the detonations and then angrily taking up the shout shout “Those who terrorise us will never rule us”.
The gathering had begun with Friday prayers. Afterwards protestors held up pictures of people who had been killed in the fighting, decried terrorism and condemned the UNSMIL peace accord in general and UNSMIL chief Bernardino Leon in particular. There were also banners and chants in favour of the Libyan army and the Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, General Khalifa Hafter.
At one point a Libya Airforce jet did a pass over the square.
It is unclear what caused the explosions, which injured no one. The first burnt out a car and the second struck behind some buildings. There is confusion about the third blast.
The attack on the demonstration mirrored the mortaring this February of a large protest in the square following the abduction and murder in Tripoli of civil rights activist Intisar Al-Hasairi. On that occasion two shells exploded on the edge of the crowd, slightly injuring two people.
There are reported to have been anti-UNSMIL demonstrations in other towns including Marj. A gathering in Martyrs’ Square in the capital seemed to number no more than a few hundred. It was followed by a parade of shiny militia vehicles. [/restrict]