Demonstrators aligned to Libya's National Transitional Council staged a protest on Sunday by holding a Tunisian plane on the runway at Mitiga Airport in Tripoli, preventing its take-off for several hours. The protesters were demanding that the NTC mete out justice over the deaths of several Souq al-Juma militia who were ambushed and killed as they attempted to arrest three pro-Gaddafi loyalists in Bani Walid last week.
According to Press TV
the protesters arrived at the airport directly from the funeral of one of those killed in Bani Waldi. The drove their vehicles directly onto the runway, blocking a Tunisair Airbus 300-20 jet with passengers on-board.
reported that the Captain prevented the men from entering the plane. They wanted to check the identities of the passengers, including some wounded Libyans. Some Libyans left the plane. Protester Hosni Berbesh explained that the aim of the protest was to send a message to the NTC to respond to their calls for justice over the Souq al-Juma martyrs. He said "This is a peaceful protest. The plane is intact. The passengers are okay. We do not want to harm anybody."
One of those killed in the failed arrest of the pro-Gaddafi loyalists was field commander Younis Belhadj, brother of Abdel Hakim Belhadj, military commander of Tripoli. The NTC has thus far failed to address the growing lawlessness that is engulfing Libya as various factions within the revolutionary brigades turn against each other. Their demands for summary justice over last weeks incident highlights the fact that earlier deadly incidents have not yet been dealt with, including any action against Abudl Hakim Belhadj himself over the allegations
that he was involved in the murder of General Abdel Fattah Younes. There also remains the pressing matter of human rights abuses that the NTC has failed to address.