Police chief killed in Libya’s Benghazi

Updated 22 November 2012
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Police chief killed in Libya’s Benghazi

BENGHAZI, Libya: A top security official in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi was killed in front of his home overnight yesterday, security officials said, in the latest violence to plague the cradle of the North African country’s revolt.
Faraj al-Deirsy, head of Benghazi police, died from multiple gunshot wounds, police and interior ministry sources said.
“This happened in front of his house when unknown attackers opened fire and hit him before fleeing,” a police source.
An interior ministry official confirmed that Deirsy, in charge of security in Benghazi, had been killed in front his home.
Libya has been hit by persistent instability since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi last year. Authorities are still trying to disarm numerous groups, mostly militias who took part in the uprising, who refuse to lay down their weapons.
Yesterday’s incident was one of a number of attacks in Benghazi, where local groups have also staged protests demanding more powers for eastern Libya and objecting to what they say is the central authorities’ neglect of the region.
In September, the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
The uprising against Gaddafi began in Benghazi in February 2011.


Palestinians protest in Ramallah over Gaza sanctions

Updated 3 min 22 sec ago
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Palestinians protest in Ramallah over Gaza sanctions

  • Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated Saturday in the occupied West Bank to demand the Palestinian Authority lift punitive measures against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
  • Demonstrators in Ramallah chanted “scrap the sanctions!” during protests against the Palestinian Authority.

RAMALLAH: Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated Saturday in the occupied West Bank to demand the Palestinian Authority lift punitive measures against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, an AFP reporter said.
Demonstrators in Ramallah chanted “scrap the sanctions!” during protests against the Palestinian Authority, organized by civil society groups.
The Ramallah-based administration has introduced a series of measures against Gaza over the past year.
Tens of thousands of its civil servants in the coastal enclave, separated from the West Bank by a strip of Israeli territory, have gone without full pay for months.
Critics say such moves by the PA, dominated by the Fatah movement of president Mahmud Abbas, further exacerbate the split between the two parts of the Palestinian territories.
The rally passed peacefully, unlike a protest on June 13 during which Palestinian security forces fired stun grenades and tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
On Saturday, policemen were seen handing out Palestinian flags to the protesters.
Hamas has run Gaza since seizing it from the Palestinian Authority amid deadly clashes in 2007.
Since that year, Israel has maintained a crippling blockade on Gaza which it argues is necessary to isolate Hamas.
Rights groups say the siege amounts to collective punishment.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in the territory since 2008.
Neighbouring Egypt has also largely sealed its land border with Gaza in recent years, citing security threats.
The United Nations has said Gaza, which is home to two million people, will be uninhabitable by 2020.
Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement last October, but it has since collapsed.