Militiamen in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, have opened fire on peaceful anti-militia demonstrators killing at least thirteen of them and injuring scores of others.
Hundreds of people carrying white flags as a sign of peace and singing the national anthem gathered at the capital’s Meliana Square on Friday. They then marched toward the Misrata militia headquarters to call on the gunmen to leave the city.
The causalities came after militiamen hiding inside the headquarters started firing at the crowd.
Some 130 people are said to have been injured and shifted to a nearby hospital for necessary medical treatment.
Over the past few months, the capital city of Tripoli and its suburbs have been also hit by violent clashes between rival militias who participated in the 2011 uprising.
Residents of Tripoli frequently demonstrate against militias — holdovers from the 2011 revolution that ousted former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
A powerful force in the increasingly lawless North African country, the militias have been rejecting calls from a weak central government to leave the capital.
The former rebels refuse to lay down their arms, despite efforts by the central government to impose law and order.
Many countries have closed their consulates in Benghazi and some foreign airlines have stopped flying there.