Moskeeën verwoest in Libië

Tien prominente moskeeën in Libië zijn op klaarlichte dag verwoest door extremistische Salafisten, hiervoor zijn bulldozers en ander zwaar apparatuur gebruikt. Het is onduidelijk hoe zodanig georganiseerde actie heeft kunnen plaatsvinden zonder tussenkomst van de overheid.

Photo: Umar Khan

Tripoli, 26 August:

The tanks at the checkpoints set up right after Tripoli were enough to give away that something was wrong — as indeed there was. Only 15 kilometres outside Zliten, the town famous for its Sufi shrine, the sounds of distant explosions told people waiting in the long queues of cars at the last check point before Zliten what was happening. A fight was underway and with each loud explosion taking place fairly regularly its intensity was clear to everybody. The explosions came from a 106mm gun.

It was not until the small hours of the Friday morning that it was evident the clashes which had started as a tribal issue had engulfed the whole city.

The explosions increased and intensified after midnight and the sound of small calibre weapons were audible, like anti-aircraft weapons — compared to those of 106mm. The local radio stations in Zliten were broadcasting war-time programmes and blaming the chaos on Qaddafi supporters. It was reported that a green flag had been raised in the city centre and that the revolutionaries were now trying to clear the area. A warning was then issued that 100 tanks and hundreds of armed cars were on their way to Zliten in support of the Qaddafi forces with plans to seize the town. It turned out to be not true.

Photo: Umar Khan

The radios were calling for all revolutionaries to come out and fight for the town. It was 2 a.m. Suddenly one of the stations switched to airing Takbeers on repetition whilst the other congratulated the people that reinforcements have arrived from Misrata and Tripoli. This too never happened.

The explosions kept happening at regular intervals through the night. The loudest took place around 5 a.m. on Friday morning, followed by another loud explosion 15 minutes later. A group of people in cars drove to a building nine kilometres west of Zliten — I was told it was a water plant — raided it and set it on fire. A petrol station was also set alight a few hours later in the same area.

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