Libyan army chief resigns after 30 are killed in Benghazi

Gen Youssef al-Mangoush who has resigned from the Libyan army following clashes with protesters in Benghazi.
Gen Youssef al-Mangoush who has resigned from the Libyan army following clashes with protesters in Benghazi.

Libyan army chief of staff Youssef al-Mangoush has reportedly resigned after 30 people died in clashes between protesters and a militia in Benghazi. The General National Congress accepted his resignation in a session on Sunday, sources at the assembly say.

The clashes erupted when protesters gathered outside the Libya Shield Brigade premises demanding it disband. The government has struggled to tackle the presence of armed militias since Col Gaddafi’s death in 2011. Mangoush, who was due to be replaced soon, was seen as ineffective and to blame for much of the country’s problems with the militias.

It comes as part of a wider decree, according to the same source, which also includes the appointment of a judge to investigate and break up the militias, as well as declare three days of mourning. Mangoush’s deputy, Salem al-Gnaidy, will stand in as acting army chief until a new one is chosen, Reuters news agency reports.

A doctor at Benghazi’s main hospital says that some of the deaths were caused by gunshot wounds to the chest and that there were six cases of amputations among the dozens of people injured. Following Saturday’s violence, the Libyan army said it would take control of all bases run by the Libya Shield Brigade in Benghazi.

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