(AP) Libyan protesters storm Islamist offices
By ESAM MOHAMED
Protesters stormed the offices of Islamist-allied parties in Libya’s main cities on Saturday, angry at the assassination of an activist critical of the country’s Muslim Brotherhood group.
Hundreds gathered in the capital Tripoli after dawn prayers, denouncing the Friday killing of Abdul-Salam Al-Musmari. They set fire to tires in the street and demanded the dissolution of Islamist parties.
Protesters appeared to be inspired by events in neighboring Egypt, where millions took to the streets the day before answering a call from the army chief, who said he wanted a mandate to stop “potential terrorism” by supporters of the country’s ousted president, Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood.
Some protesters stormed the headquarters of a Brotherhood-affiliated political party and another Islamist-allied party, destroying furniture. Witnesses say a Brotherhood party office was also stormed in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Al-Musmari, who used to publicly criticize the Muslim Brotherhood, was killed by unknown assailants in a drive-by shooting in Benghazi.
Libya’s top religious figure, Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadeq al-Ghariani, warned his countrymen earlier in the week against copying Egypt and bringing down the Libyan government. Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, was ousted by the military on July 3 after millions took to the streets demanding his removal.
Al-Ghariani’s warning was posted Wednesday on his official website against unspecified parties “trying to create crises in electricity and gas, and those taking advantage of tribal loyalties to the ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi.” Long hours of blackouts and the severe shortage of fuel contributed to Morsi’s unpopularity.