New killings spark protests in Libya's Benghazi

AFP , Wednesday 26 Feb 2014

The killings of two policemen in Libya's second city Benghazi on Wednesday sparked protests by angry residents who blocked roads and burned tyres.

The fatal shootings of the two officers -- one serving, one retired -- came just a day after the UN mission in Libya voiced "deep concern" over the near-daily violence plaguing the North African country, particularly the east.

The serving policeman was killed by two bullets to the head close to his home in the Majuri neighbourhood, medical and security sources said.

The former official of the judicial police was shot dead in the Guwersha district.

The killings, which followed the fatal shooting of another policeman on Tuesday, prompted dozens of protesters to take to the streets to vent their anger at the lawlessness gripping the city.

Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has seen near-daily attacks on security and other targets in recent months as the weak central government has tried to rein in former rebel brigades turned militias.

On Tuesday, the UN Support Mission in Libya called on authorities to make every effort to rein in the rampant violence, which has hit not only security personnel, but also civilians, including foreigners.

"UNSMIL expresses its deep concern about the continued violence -- including assassinations, bombings, kidnappings and attacks in the east and other Libyan areas," the mission said in a statement.

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