Ever since the end of the Libyan revolution last October, the militias—both secular and Islamist–that overthrew former leader Muammar Gaddafi have acted with impunity. They stole cars and confiscated buildings. They clashed with rival brigades using heavy weaponry they pilfered from military bases. But an interim government too weak and disorganized to confront the brigades was unable to persuade them to merge them into a national army and police force. And so frustrated residents in Benghazi decided to act on their own.

As the U.S. and Libyan government scrambled to find a way to tame those very same militias allegedly behind an attack against the American consulate that left four dead including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Benghazi residents took things into their own hands. In clashes that extended into the early morning hours, protesters overran the base of a militia suspected of masterminding the raid. The demonstrations started peacefully…

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About Johann Brandstätter

Photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Bulgaria, working mainly in the Balkans and the Middle East. Conflicts & crises, social and environmental issues, defense & military, travel, transportation.
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