This is what utter lawlessness looks like.
On Saturday, more than 1,100 prisoners inside the Kuafiya Prison in Benghazi, Libya escaped after demonstrations outside, and riots inside, induced the guards to open the doors or risk having everyone inside burn to death.
By Sunday, approximately 100 of those who had escaped had been recaptured, but Benghazi saw more violence that evening.
Two explosions rocked the city of Benghazi on Sunday evening, one in front of a court house, and the other in front of the Justice Ministry. There were no fatalities, but 13 people were injured. However, there was massive damage to the buildings and surrounding areas.
Although no one claimed responsibility for the explosions or the prison break, it is believed that the violence was in response to the assassination of a lawyer and leading critic of the Muslim Brotherhood, Abdelsalam al-Mosmary, who was shot in the chest after leaving a Benghazi mosque following Friday prayers. Al-Mosmary was extremely outspoken and harshly criticized the presence of armed militias on the streets of Libya. These militias were also the focus of massive protests following the September 11, 2012 attack on the American Compound in Benghazi.
After news of al-Mosmary’s death spread, hundreds of protesters attacked the Benghazi and Tripoli offices of Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood, late on Friday, according to Reuters.
Over the weekend Libya’s Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, closed the border between Libya and Egypt. He suspected that al-Mosmary’s assassins were headed towards Egypt. Zeidan was elected in the fall of 2012, when he narrowly defeated Mohamed Al Harary, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, by 8 votes.
Zeidan said he would reshuffle his cabinet in the wake of the violence. An emergency meeting is expected to take place on Monday.
Violence in Libya is on the increase. Of course, Benghazi was the site of the September 11, 2012 murders of four Americans: Ambassador Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service Information Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALS and Embassy security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods. But Libyan political activists were stunned by the assassination of one of their own.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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