Benghazi Jail Escapees were Mostly Gaddafi Loyalists

Libyan Protesters
The 1,200 inmates who escaped from a prison in Benghazi, Libya, Saturday , were mostly Gaddafi loyalists, said Libyan security officials. The jailbreak happened as a mob of protesters took to the streets overnight to denounce the assassination of a prominent opponent of the current Libyan government. Security sources in Libya told the BBC “There was a riot inside al-Kwafiya prison, as well as an attack from outside.” The security officer was quoted by AFP as adding “There had been unrest inside the prison before the breakout.”

The protesters were enraged, over the assassination of a prominent political activist Abdelsalam al-Mosmary known for his caustic and permanent criticism against the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been increasingly influential in the Libyan parliament since the fall of Muammar Kaddafi, the dictator who ruled Libya for 42 years. Al-Mosmary was shot dead on Friday after leaving a mosque in Benghazi.
Violent demonstrations followed the killing, with protesters attacking offices of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party. Demonstrators also stoned the headquarters of a liberal political coalition in Tripoli. Mobs attended al-Mosmary’s funeral.

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown after a long uprising in 2011. He was killed by rebels whilst in hiding after his regime fell, following months of heavy fighting across the country.

Benghazi, one the most important cities in Libya, was the scene last year of the assassination of US ambassador, Christopher Stephens and three other Americans during an attack by armed groups on the US Consulate. The killing, still under investigations, has never been cleared up. Benghazi is also known as a bastion of Gaddafi loyalists. Suspicion that pro-Gaddafi groups were behind the  jailbreak is explained by the fact they had been charged with attacking security bases after the conflict. Libyan officials said that Special Forces were called in as reinforcements and were given orders not to fire at the prisoners after Saturday’s jailbreak.

In an attempt to calm the protesters, the Libyan Prime minister, Ali Zeidan, promised Friday to reshuffle the cabinet and reorganize the government. He said that will be the way to cope with the “urgent” situation in the country following killings in the eastern city of Benghazi. “What is happening is an attempt to obstruct the state’s progression.” Zeidan said at a news conference. “We are about to make a cabinet reshuffle and decrease the number of ministries to ensure a better performance to face the urgent situation.”

The 2011 revolution in Libya has not brought total peace in Libya. As war weapons were distributed without control among different rebels groups and it is now tough for the Libyan government to control the whole country. Benghazi is one of the most unstable parts of post-revolution Libya. The Libyan government faces rude opposition and sometime uses strong methods in attempts to tame its rivals.

Eddy Isango
Sources: BBC News, AP, AFP and Reuters

We will read your comment immediately so leave a remark!

RSS Guardian Express

  • South Korea Warns of Northern Plans for Nuclear Test Ahead of Obama Visit April 23, 2014
    South Korean officials have warned that the North may be planning to launch another nuclear test. This news has come ahead of the official visit by President Obama. But officials are not sure if the test is legitimate, or just a bluff on behalf of their northern counterparts. Kim Min-Seok, spokesman for the defence ministry […]
    Sara Watson
  • Mental Illness Not Strongly Associated With Criminal Behavior April 23, 2014
    Research conducted on 143 people with severe mental illness taken from a mental health court in Minneapolis has found that a relatively small number of the crimes they commit are directly related to the symptoms of their illness. The study, conducted by researchers at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota, is the first to take […]
    Laura Prendergeist
  • Heroin Sold by Hospital Inpatient April 23, 2014
    A Pennsylvania woman has been charged with selling heroin … out of the intensive care unit (ICU), and then her hospital room while a patient at Excela Westmoreland County Hospital. The hospital is an adult inpatient mental health facility in Greensburg, a suburb of Pittsburg. After an undercover informant bought heroin from the woman, 38-year-old […]
    Fern Remedi-Brown
  • Game of Thrones Not Short on Talent with Peter Dinklage April 23, 2014
    The hot series Game of Thrones is full of action and suspense, leaving the viewer yearning for more with each passing episode.  The ongoing saga has spectators glued to their television sets, waiting and wondering what will happen next. The HBO series has captured audiences for four seasons with a dramatic fantasy story line and talent […]
    Roanne FitzGibbon
  • Teenage Stowaway Miracle Survival April 23, 2014
    A teenage stowaway has beaten the odds with his miraculous survival crossing the Pacific ocean. He was hidden in the flight wheel of a Hawaiian airlines plane. The boy, who has been taken into child services, was said to be unconscious for the entirety of the flight, which went from San Jose to Maui. The […]
    Sara Watson

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 630 other subscribers