World Bulletin/News Desk
A Libyan militia was swept out of the eastern city of Benghazi in a popular protest against the armed groups that ran into the early hours of Saturday morning, Reuters witnesses said.
At least one person was killed and 20 wounded, a hospital source said, as militias tried to fight the demonstrators from a heavily fortified base. Gunfire could be heard in the area before the fighters were forced out.
Looters carried weapons out of the vacated base compound.
The militia has been linked to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last week in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans died. It denies involvement.
The action against the group appeared to be part of a coordinated sweep of militia headquarters buildings by police, government troops and activists following a mass public demonstration against militia units on Friday.
Chanting "Libya, Libya," hundreds of demonstrators entered, pulling down militia flags and torching a vehicle inside headquarters in Benghazi - once the base of forces of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, which tried to put down the first protests that sparked last year's uprising.
Protesters said the militiamen opened fire as they arrived and several people were wounded.
After the crowd entered that compound, Libyan army trucks sped away from the base carrying government troops cheering in victory and crying out, "God is greatest."
Vigilantes armed with machetes and clubs blocked the highway leading away from the compound, stopping cars to prevent looters from driving off with heavy weapons.
The demonstrators also took over a compound belonging to the Abu Slim brigade and another Ansar al-Sharia compound.
Friday's "Rescue Benghazi day" demonstration called for the government to disband armed groups that have refused to give up their weapons since the NATO-backed revolution last year.
"It's obvious that this protest is against the militias. All of them should join the army or security forces as individuals, not as groups," student Ahmed Sanallah said. "Without that there will be no prosperity and no success for the new Libya."
Benghazi, 1,000 km (600 miles) from Tripoli across largely empty desert, is controlled by various armed groups.
'Having a united island at peace with itself and its neighbours will create more jobs, more prosperity. So, the solution will pay for itself,' UN envoy says
EU president believes Russian airstrikes in Syria 'are making an already very bad situation even worse'
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein says the Working Group, although not a court, based its decision on binding international law and that Britain and Sweden should therefore abide by its findings
TIKA releases details of dozens of projects in education, infrastructure and agriculture
'I think we will take very seriously the request from Turkey and other allies to look into what NATO can do to help them cope and deal with the crisis,' NATO chief says
Russian president's spokesman believes German chancellor should carefully watch what she says on the Syrian crisis
With the latest advances, Ramadi and all its surrounding areas have been retaken from ISIL, opening a road to capital Baghdad
EU energy commissioner says the aim of the proposals 'is simple: to prevent and mitigate possible security of gas supply crises'
Lyutvi Mestan's new party to be called the Democrats for Responsibility, Freedom and Tolerance, abbreviated 'DOST' in Bulgarian
The cause of the accident near Bad Aibling, around 60 kilometres southeast of Munich, is not immediately clear
The country's bombing mission against ISIL in Iraq and Syria is set to end by February 22
A stable Libya is in the interests of the whole of the Maghreb and the whole of Europe,' European Parliament chief says
Human Rights Watch urges US president to call for ‘dismissal of politically motivated charges’ against former opposition leader when he meets Malaysian PM next week
Greece cannot protect Europe, new line of defense should be established at borders with Greece, says Hungarian PM
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus president says he wants to see Cyprus adopt two-zone federal structure