Protesters storm Libyan private TV station
22 October 2012, 13:41
Benghazi - Demonstrators stormed the offices of a private Libyan television station in Benghazi Sunday, protesting coverage of the clashes in Bani Walid, one of the last bastions of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
The demonstrators broke into the offices of Libya Al-Hurra station, wrecking the site and setting fire to an office, an AFP journalist witnessed.
They were shouting "Warfalla", the name of a tribe based in Bani Walid.
They attacked members of staff, including at least one journalist, while others employees fled, the AFP correspondent said.
The channel stopped broadcasting shortly afterwards.
The demonstrators were protesting against the station for having announced the capture of Khamis, one of Muammar Gaddafi’s sons, in Bani Walid.
They say that this had been used to justify attacks launched by ex-rebel fighters conscripted by the army against the city, which lies about 185km south-east of Tripoli.
The arrest of Khamis as well as that of Gaddafi’s last spokesperson, Mussa Ibrahim, was announced by the authorities before they went back on the claims.
Sunday's protest also came after a day after clashes between pro-government forces and fighters at Bani Walid, which killed at least 26 people and wounded more than 200, according to an AFP tally.
The fighters in the town have been denounced by the authorities in Tripoli as criminals and loyalists of Gaddafi’s ousted regime.
Hundreds of Libyan families and foreign workers on Sunday fled the violence in Bani Walid, a hilltop town of around 100 000 inhabitants.