Libyans Seize HQ of Islamic Radicals

Ansar al-Sharia forces fall back without a fight
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2012 6:22 PM CDT
Libyan civilians celebrate the raiding of Ansar al-Shariah Brigades compound, after hundreds of Libyans raided the Brigades base, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters in Benghazi declared victory today after seizing the headquarters of an extremist Muslim group linked to Chris Stevens' death, CNN reports. The demonstrators marched on a building used by the group Ansar al-Sharia, torched a car, and set free 20 or more captives without any reported injuries. Some have accused Ansar al-Sharia of organizing the consular attack that killed Stevens—Libya's US ambassador—and three others.

The pro-democracy protesters celebrated in the street and said that they—not angry Muslims apparently protesting a video—represent the real Libya. "I don't want to see armed men wearing Afghani-style clothes stopping me in the street to give me orders, I only want to see people in uniform," said a student who took part, the AP reports. Hearing about the assault, Sen. John McCain praised the protesters and said they represent the freedom-loving Libya that he and other US officials admire. "Somewhere Chris Stevens is smiling," McCain said. "This is what we knew ... about Libya." (Read more Chris Stevens stories.)

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