31 killed in attack on anti-militia protesters in Libya capital
TRIPOLI – A group of militiamen opened fire here on Friday at hundreds of protesters, killing at least 31 people and wounding 230 others, the Libyan Health Ministry said.
Some militiamen who opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns at hundreds of protesters, who were demanding the armed group from the city of Misrata to move out of the capital, according to a Xinhua reporter at the scene. The group is allegedly involved in the bloody clashes last Thursday in the Tripoli.
Speaking at a press conference, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan blamed both the protesters and the militia for the violence.
But Taha Bashaga, regional commander of the Misrata militia group, told a TV that the protesters were armed and opened fire first, insisting that his brigades not leave Tripoli until the country draws up a new constitution.
Two years after the 2011 conflict, the Libyan authorities are still struggling to rein in tens of armed militia groups roaming the country. Murders and kidnappings of security officers as well as protests are registered on daily basis.