How’s that Arab Spring working out for the people of Libya? Terribly. Yesterday, clashes between freedom-seekers and Libyan militiamen in Tripoli left scores dead and nearly 500 wounded.
The Libyan capital is enduring some of its worst days since its liberation in August 2011. Today, the people of Tripoli took to the streets to call for an end to rule by militia in the city — only to be shot at and, in some cases, killed by the same armed militias that helped liberate the capital from Qaddafi’s forces.
On Nov. 15, hundreds of Tripoli residents answered calls for peaceful demonstrations issued by the city’s council, the Grand Mufti, and civil society organizations to protest against the presence of armed militias in the city. The protesters carried white flags as a sign of peace. However, when the crowds marched to the Gharghour area of Tripoli — home to one of the most notorious militias in the city — the protesters were fired upon with live ammunition, including anti-aircraft guns and even rockets. At least 32 people have been killed and at least 391 injured. The casualties included women and children, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Health.
Activists and journalists shared photos and first-hand accounts across social media.