Mass strike paralyses Libya's Benghazi

Large parts of Libya's restive eastern city have come to a standstill because of a strike over security concerns.

    Public and private sector staff including oil workers went on strike in the Libyan port city of Benghazi, protesting against worsening security and demanding the resignation of parliament whose mandate has expired.

    Traffic at Benghazi's international airport was halted by the strike on Sunday. As a result, a Turkish Airlines plane was turned away, according to state media.

    Oil companies, universities and schools also closed on Sunday, heeding a call by political groups for a day of "civil disobedience" to demand better security, witnesses said.

    Government forces have failed to improve security in the port city where car bombs and killings of police and army officers have become part of daily life.

    Most foreigners left Benghazi after the US ambassador to Libya was killed in an assault on the US consulate in September 2012.

    The strikers want Libya's General National Congress (GNC) assembly to resign immediately, the Reuters news agency reported.

    The GNC's initial mandate expired on February 7 but a date has yet to be set for a new election.

    Many Libyans blame infighting parliamentarians for the growing turmoil and anarchy that have persisted in Libya since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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