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Entries in Benghazi (3)


Libya Feature: Optimism Gives Way to Jitters in Benghazi (Fitzgerald/Khan)

Protest in Benghazi against militias, 21 September 2012 (Photo: Abdullah Doma/AFP)

More than three months after the storming of the U.S. mission, and with the Libyan investigation into the attack that killed Amb. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans all but ground to a halt, Benghazi remains jittery and tense. Even in affluent neighborhoods, gunfire and explosions form an almost nightly soundtrack. Many residents are wary about where they venture after dark. The American drones that circle overhead prompt bitter complaints -- as well as the occasional attempt at black humor. "That's my brother-in-law up there keeping an eye on me," one man said with a laugh as he pointed skywards.

But there is little levity when it comes to confronting Benghazi's dense knot of security challenges --- which include rogue militias, frequent assassinations, and a fraught political environment made even more flammable by the ready availability of weapons. "I think the security situation is going from bad to worse after the consulate attack," says Wanis al-Sharif, the top Interior Ministry official in eastern Libya. Why that is depends on whom you ask.

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Libya Photo Exclusive: The People of Benghazi (v. der Osten Sacken)

Thomas v. der Osten Sacken has just returned from a stay in Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city and the seat of power of the opposition. In this photo essay, offered exclusively on EA, he presents its people and images:

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"Free Libya": A Report from Benghazi (Chulov)

Photo: ReutersAt the heart of the city where he launched his rise to power, Muammar Gaddafi's indignity is now complete. In little more than three days of rampage, the rebels in Libya's second city have done their best to wind the clock back 42 years --- to life before the dictator they loathe.

Benghazi has fallen and Gaddafi's bid to cling on to power, whatever the cost, has crumbled with it. There is barely a trace of him now, except for obscene graffiti that mocks him on the dust-strewn walls where his portraits used to hang.

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