Prison clashes in Benghazi leave four dead

Dec. 21, 2012 at 1:21 PM
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BENGHAZI, Libya, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Security forces in Benghazi, Libya, said four people were killed in clashes when militants tried to free prisoners from a security complex.

Protesters gathered at a security headquarters in Benghazi to protest the detention of Islamic rebels thought to be responsible for the slaying of a top security chief, The New York Times reports. Police there said four people, including militants, were killed in the clashes.

The Tripoli Post reported this week that four policemen were killed last weekend in the former rebel stronghold of Benghazi. The city's police chief was assassinated in November and, in September, attacks on the U.S. consulate there left U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three staff members dead.

In response to escalating unrest, the country's new government issued an order this week closing the land borders with Algeria, Chad, Niger and Sudan temporarily.

Among those said to be detained in Benghazi was Saleh al-Hami, who the Times reports is suspected in the slaying of members of the regime of Moammar Gadhafi, who died last year after falling into rebel hands.

The newspaper reports residents formed a human shield around the Benghazi complex to deter militants from attacking again.

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