Benghazi’s population was so enraged by that killing and government inaction that protesters took matters into their own hands, storming a series of Islamist militia bases late last month.
“There are some people who want Benghazi to be like Somalia, everyone killing each other,” said Hanna el-Galal, a civil rights activist in the city. “Most Benghazians want to work together, men and women, for the common good.”
Some voices call for patience.
“It was 42 years of dictatorship, that is a long time,” said Mohammed bin Tahar, an electrical engineer serving as a volunteer unloading wounded soldiers from helicopters at Misrata’s hospital. “It is not easy to change the way people think in just a year.”