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Libyans protest against NTC, Abdel Jalil over comments

Hundreds of protesters in Benghazi chant slogans against NTC head Mustafa Abdel Jalil for his recent call to pardon Gaddafi loyalists

AFP , Monday 12 Dec 2011
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Arabic writing that reads, "missing, Mohammed Mohammed Al Mahgoub Sheikh," during protest demanding that the government act faster to find those who disappeared in Tripoli, Libya, November (Photo: AP)
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About 200 Libyans on Monday gathered in the eastern city of ‎Benghazi – the cradle of the recent uprising that ousted ‎Muammar Gaddafi – to protest against the National Transitional ‎Council (NTC) and council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil.‎

Angry protesters chanted slogans against Abdel Jalil and ‎accused the NTC of a lack of transparency, an AFP ‎correspondent at the scene reported.‎

‎"Abdel Jalil has a lot of questions to answer. The regime has not ‎changed. It’s the same, which oppresses and marginalises ‎cities," said Benghazi lawyer Tahini Al-Sharif.‎

She said that protesters were furious over recent remarks by ‎Abdel Jalil, in which he said that Gaddafi fighters should be ‎forgiven.‎

‎"Abdel Jalil is asking us to forgive Gaddafi fighters. Would he ‎say the same thing if his son had been killed or wounded in the ‎revolution?" Al-Sharif said as the crowds behind her chanted, ‎‎"NTC must quit. Jalil must go!"‎

On Saturday, the NTC held the first post-Gaddafi conference on ‎national reconciliation in which Abdel Jalil said that Libya’s new ‎rulers could forgive the slain dictator’s fighters who fought rebels ‎during the recent uprising.‎

"In Libya, we are able to absorb all. Libya is for all," he said at ‎the conference.‎

"Despite what the army of the oppressor did to our cities and our ‎villages, our brothers who fought against the rebels as the army ‎of Gaddafi, we are ready to forgive them," he said.‎

‎"We are able to forgive and tolerate," he added.‎

Abdel Jalil is the chief of the NTC, which has ruled Libya since ‎the revolution erupted against Gaddafi from Benghazi and ‎spread across the North African country before ending with the ‎former leader's murder on 20 October in his hometown of Sirte.‎

Monday's protest took place in a key square in downtown ‎Benghazi, where the first anti-Gaddafi demonstration had been ‎held on 15 February.‎

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