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PEOPLE POWER DRIVES OUT U.S. ENVOY KILLERS; 11 die and 70 injured in protest.

Byline: Maggie Michael

THE militia blamed for the killing of US ambassador Chris Stevens have been forced out of Libya's second city Benghazi.

The action against Ansar al-Sharia appeared to be part of a show of people power against armed groups.

The extremists seized power in some areas after the uprising against dictator Colonel Gaddafi.

And interim Libyan leader Mohammed Magarief yesterday vowed to disband all militias in the aftermath of Stevens's death.

At least 11 people were killed and up to 70 wounded as militants fought demonstrators in Benghazi.

Gunfire could be heard in the area before the fighters were driven out.

Looters carried weapons out of the Ansar al-Sharia military compound as men clapped and chanted: "Say to Ansar al-Sharia, Benghazi will be your inferno."

Ansar al-Sharia were blamed for the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi last week in which Stevens and three other Americans died.

Ten Libyan security guards were also killed.

Chanting "Libya, Libya, No more al-Qaeda!" hundreds of men waving swords stormed Ansar al-Sharia's HQ. Demonstrator Hassan Ahmed said: "This is a turning point for the people of Benghazi, "After what happened at the American consulate, the people here have had enough of the extremists.

"They did not give allegiance to the army, so the people broke in and they fled."

Demonstrators pulled down militia flags and torched a vehicle in the base.

The headquarters once served as the base of Gaddafi's security forces.

Ahmed said: "This place is like the Bastille.

"This is where Gaddafi controlled Libya from, and then Ansar al-Sharia took it over."

Benghazi, which lies more than 600 miles from the capital Tripoli, is controlled by various armed groups.

Some of them consist of Islamists who openly proclaim their hostility to the West and its allies.


KILLED Chris Stevens
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:6LIBY
Date:Sep 24, 2012
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