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Benghazi prepares for protests

Sept. 20, 2012 at 2:35 PM   |   Comments

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BENGHAZI, Libya, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A protest against armed militias, as well as a counter-protest, has been scheduled for Friday in Benghazi, Libya, officials said.

Moderate Libyan activists scheduled a "Save Benghazi" rally on the weekly Muslim holy day, as has Ansar al-Sharia, one of the groups U.S. officials say was likely involved in the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, CBS News reported Thursday.

The prospect of Ansar al-Sharia, with conservative followers and a well-stocked arsenal of weapons, taking the street at the same time as groups calling for its disarmament and replacement by government security forces, presents an obvious risk, the report said.

But one of the pro-disarmament organizers said the protest "is not a move against Ansar al-Sharia. We are against all armed factions, and we want police and armed forces to be restored."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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A small American flag is seen in the rubble at the United States consulate, one day after armed men stormed the compound and killed the U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in Benghazi, Libya on September 12, 2012. The gunman were protesting a little known film by an American amateur filmmaker that angered Muslims as it was deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammad. UPI/Tariq AL-hunPresident Barack Obama watches while transfer cases are placed into hearses during in the Transfer of Remains Ceremony marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya, at Joint Base Andrews near Washington, DC on September 14, 2012. UPI/Molly Riley/Pool
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