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At least 25 people have died in Benghazi in eastern Libya, in clashes that erupted during protests outside a militia headquarters.Dozens more were wounded in the violence, medical officials say.Demonstrators had gathered outside the headquarters of the Libya Shield Brigade demanding the disbanding of militias, residents say.Since Col Gaddafi's death in 2011, the government has been trying to tackle the presence of armed militias.The Libya Shield Brigade, which played a role in the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi, has so far refused to lay down its weapons.The militia say they are operating with defence ministry approval.'Reserve force'One witness said he had seen around 200 protesters from an area to the east of Benghazi. While most of them were unarmed, a few had AK-47 rifles, he said.
Dozens Are Killed in Libya in Fight With MilitiaBy SULIMAN ALI ZWAY and KAREEM FAHIMPublished: June 8, 2013BENGHAZI, Libya — At least a dozen people were killed here Saturday and dozens wounded after members of a powerful militia fired on protesters surrounding the group’s headquarters in an outpouring of public anger at the armed bands that have been blamed for fueling political violence and undermining a fledgling state.Related NATO to Send Team to Libya to Assess Security Aid (June 5, 2013) 2 Diplomats Met Uneven Fates in Benghazi Uproar (May 30, 2013)World Twitter Logo.Connect With Us on TwitterFollow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines.Twitter List: Reporters and EditorsFor several hours on Saturday afternoon, fighting raged at the militia’s compound on the edge of Benghazi, as residents in nearby apartment blocks fled their houses and ambulances carried away wounded protesters. By nightfall, the protesters had evicted the militia and set parts of the compound on fire.Madia el-Fakhery, a doctor at Benghazi’s largest hospital, said even though it was receiving only the overflow from the main trauma hospital, the number of casualties was “overwhelming.” In the operating room, wounded patients were lying on the floor for lack of space. “We’re seeing gunshot wounds to the chest, head and abdomen,” she said. “We’ve done amputations.” Though most injuries appeared to be from gunfire, other victims appeared to have been maimed by explosions, she said. She said that by late Saturday evening, the death toll had reached at least 27 people, a number that could not be independently confirmed.