Benghazi, Libya, Dec 20, 2012 (AFP) -
Benghazi, Libya, Dec 20, 2012 (AFP) –
Armed men attacked police headquarters in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Thursday, with five policemen wounded and a nearby resident killed, security and medical officials said.
“An armed group attacked the police headquarters in Benghazi trying to free suspects who were arrested a few days ago,” a security official told AFP.
“The army intervened to defend the building. Five policemen were wounded and a resident of the neighbourhood killed,” he added.
A medical official at Al-Hawari hospital, which received the casualties, confirmed the toll.
Security sources said the incident began as a peaceful demonstration, with protesters demanding the release of a suspect allegedly involved in the killings of several police and military officers.
Then some of the demonstrators, most of them Islamists, begun firing at the building, the same sources added.
Interior Minister Ashour Shuwail called for restraint in a declaration carried by the official news agency LANA, adding that the arrested suspects had been transferred to Tripoli for security reasons.
Shuwail urged all parties in Benghazi to allow the “judicial authorities to investigate the incidents that have taken place in the city.”
There have been a series of attacks targeting police stations Libya’s second city, with many blaming the violence on Islamist extremists.
The eastern city was the cradle of the 2011 uprising that toppled Moamer Kadhafi. It has increasingly become a focus for jihadist groups, including militants who killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans on September 11.