By Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 13 October 2017:
The death of a policemen killed while he was sitting outside a café drinking coffee with friends by someone seemingly firing randomly into the air has shaken Benghazi. This is despite the fact that the city lived with violence and sudden death for five years – first when the assassinations started, then when the fightback against the militants started in earnest with the Dignity Operation. Or possibly because so many in Bengahzi had thought that the city’s dangers were past.
The hastag #اوقفوا_الرصاص_العشوائي (#Stop Random Bullets) has gone viral in the city and elsewhere in the country as a result of the killing. Sick of random, senseless violence and bloodshed that it has come to exemplify, local bloggers, activists and even supporters of Benghazi’s Alhi football club, of which the dead man was one, have been posting it.
The incident happened the day before yesterday. Maher Algatani, a father of two and a member of the city’s security directorate, was sitting at a café in the city’s 20th Street with a group of friends, when a bullet hit him. He got up, stumbled a metre or so, collaped and died. The incident was caught on a security camera, making it all the more dramatic.
Despite the defeat of the militants and the occasional sniper incident since then, Benghazi remains awash with guns and they are used – in both joy and anger, at weddings and other social events but also to settle quarrels.
A week ago there was a quarrel between two families in the city’s Majouri district and two people were killed. There have been several cases of people injured from falling bullets.
Algatani’s death has now sprurred activists into launching a campaign to stop the use of guns and have them collected up.