Shelling kills nine protesters in Benghazi

At least nine people die after mortars hit protesters demonstrating against UN in Benghazi

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People take part in a protest against candidates for a national unity government proposed by UN envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon, Benghazi, Libya, October 23, 2015.

At least nine people were killed and more than 20 were wounded in Benghazi, Libya, on Friday in a mortar attack on protesters rallying against a UN proposal for a unity government, medical sources said.

Over 2,000 people gathered in al-Keesh square in Benghazi to oppose UN envoy Bernardino Leon’s proposal when at least seven mortar shells hit the protesters.

No group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack.

Leon offered a power sharing agreement that aims to end the political crisis in the country by forming a unity government between its rival parliaments.

Libya is currently divided between the control of two rival parliaments, the General National Congress (GNC) in the capital Tripoli and the House of Representatives (HoR), operating from the eastern city of Tobruk, each backed by their own militias.

The proposal, which includes a list of candidates for key positions in the new body, was rejected by both the Tobruk-based and Tripoli-based governments.

The HoR said it will still participate in UN-supported peace talks with the government based in the capital Tripoli.

The conflict in Libya has been ongoing for the past four years, since the fall of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

TRTWorld and agencies