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General strike in Libya's Benghazi over insecurity

AFP , Monday 7 Apr 2014
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Residents of the restive Libyan city of Benghazi observed a general strike Monday to protest against militant violence, as youths blocked streets of the capital in a show of support.

It was the second day of the strike civic groups called to denounce Benghazi's lack of security, and to demand the General National Congress's suspension as well as early elections.

Benghazi, the cradle of the 2011 revolt that toppled Moamer Kadhafi, has been plagued by violence that has killed dozens of members of the security forces, judges and foreigners.

Monday's strike was only partly observed, but it caused the closure of government offices, schools and universities.

The eastern city's airport, which the strike had closed on Sunday, reopened after the authorities reached an agreement with the protesters, said an airport source.

In Tripoli, angry youths joined the protest by blocking several major streets with burning tyres, causing traffic jams in parts of the capital, witnesses said.

The General National Congress was elected in July 2012 to an 18-month mandate but stirred popular anger by extending its term from early February until the end of December this year.

Under pressure from demonstrators, it later announced early elections but has yet to give a date for the vote.

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