38 injured in Libya clashes

BENGHAZI, LIBYA: At least 38 people were injured in clashes between demonstrators and Libyan security forces on Tuesday in the city of Benghazi, local Quryna newspaper reported.

Protesters chanted anti-government slogans and demanded the release of lawyer Fathi Terbil during a sit-in by families of prisoners killed in a 1996 shooting in Abu Salim prison.

Terbil, who was released after the demonstration, was arrested for spreading a rumor that the prison was on fire and urged citizens through phone calls to storm the prison, according to the newspaper.

During the clashes, protesters threw stones at the police who responded with water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets.

In a statement on Wednesday, a senior Libyan official warned that the authorities "will not allow a group of people to move around at night and play with the security of Libya."

"The clashes last night were between small groups of people: up to 150. Some outsiders infiltrated that group. They were trying to corrupt the local legal process which has long been in place," the statement said, as reported by the BBC.

The European Union urged Libyan authorities to allow anti-government protesters to demonstrate and take their demands seriously.

Libya announced that 110 members of a banned militant group are going to be released later on Wednesday from the Abu Salim prison after the dialogue lasted for a year.

A "Day of Anger," inspired by the uprisings in the Middle East, is planned for Thursday. Muammar Gaddafi has ruled oil-rich Libya since 1969.


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