Death toll mounts after Benghazi protesters clash with Libyan militia

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At least 27 people have been killed and 90 more wounded in clashes Saturday between protesters and a Libyan militia, reported Al Arabiya's correspondent.

Reuters quoted a doctor on the ground as saying the Libyan militia was operating with Defense Ministry approval in the eastern city of Benghazi.

According to Reuters, residents said dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the headquarters of the Libya Shield brigade demanding the disbanding of militias.

“A group of protesters started protesting against the presence of militias. They were calling for the disbanding of groups to rebuild the army,” a Benghazi resident told Reuters.

“As I was leaving, I saw protesters throwing stones and the other side fired back.”

A spokesman for the security operations room in Benghazi told Reuters: “Initial reports say 18 people were injured and two were killed. No military action has been taken as of yet. We are waiting for elders to intervene.”

Ahmed Belashahr, a local activist, told Reuters: “People protested because they believe militias go against Libya’s stability, which can only be achieved through a proper army and police.”

Libya’s new rulers are still struggling to impose their authority on a myriad of armed groups who often take the law into their own hands, Reuters said.

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