The killing of popular Libyan political activist, Abdulsalam Musmari, in Benghazi has sparked country-wide protests against the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hundreds of men and women in Benghazi took to the streets last night in fury at the assassination of Musmari, one in a string of recent killings. Two military officials were also assassinated last night in Benghazi, one shot in the back while he was praying.
Convinced that members of the Muslim Brotherhood are behind the attacks, protestors said they wanted the organisation to leave both Benghazi and Libya. Protestors stormed two of the Muslim Brotherhood’s main premises in the city, one of which was the local headquarters of the Justice and Construction Party (JCP) – the political arm of the Brotherhood. There have been reports that both were set alight.
Many of the protestors were in tears, mourning the loss of a political figure who, they say, consistently made a stand against militias and Islamists. He also frequently appeared on television to encourage the residents of Benghazi to stage protests in response to bombings and assassinations in the area.
“The death of Musmari was a big loss for Benghazi and the whole of Libya,” one resident told the Libya Herald, “he was a good, good man.”
“When somebody speaks the truth, it will cost him his life,” one banner read, in reference to Musmari’s open criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood. Another handwritten sign said “We want police, not gunmen.”
Other towns and cities across the country have reportedly demonstrated in solidarity with Benghazi in the early hours of this morning. Protestors filled Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square and the long-standing Political Isolation Law tent in one corner of the square has apparently been removed.
There have also been reports of protests in Zintan, Tobruk and Zawiya..