Libya violence leaves 6 dead, protests in capital
Attacks in eastern Libya Saturday killed six people in less than 24 hours, according to an Agence France-Presse report. A public prosecutor and five security officials were among the dead.
Public prosecutor Mohamed al-Naass, who was responsible for the al-Jabal al-Akhdar region east of Benghazi, was killed in Derna when a car bomb detonated and unidentified gunmen shot dead two traffic policemen. In Benghazi, gunmen killed two special forces soldiers late Friday at an army checkpoint. Sherif al-Ajili, a police lieutenant colonel, was also brought to the hospital late Friday after he had been shot in the head. He later died that evening.
Bombings and shootings in the eastern region of the country have primarily targeted security forces since the oust of former dictator Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Libya's government has attempted to increase security force presence in Benghazi and elsewhere to curb gunmen attacks, but such efforts have been fruitless with violence prevailing throughout the city and nation.
In related news, Libyans took to the streets in protest in the country's capital Saturday in efforts to halt the renewal of the General National Congress (GNC) mandate, the country's top political body for next year.
The GNC comprises the representatives from the country's first free elections in July 2012 and was given an 18-month mandate to draft a new constitution that would serve as the framework for future general elections and the development of the new Libyan state accordingly.
However, "political tension and chronic insecurity" have undermined perceptions regarding GNC's ability to draft this constitution before the mandate's expiration in February, with politicians even calling for an extension to complete their tasks.
The protest was largely organized by youths from Benghazi who call themselves the "November 9 movement." The youths says that GNC's power struggles are preventing the body from achieving the goals in its mandate and are calling for independent candidates to be elected to the body. Like the November 9 movement, opponents of the bid to extend GNC's mandate believe that prolonging the time period will "deligitimatize" the body and may "push Libya into further turmoil." The November 9 movement Facebook page has already attracted more than 8,000 supporters.