Washington: Just six weeks after launching a deadly attack on the US mission in Benghazi that killed four American diplomats, Libya’s armed Islamist extremists akin to al Qaeda, are now terrorizing the eastern city of Darna, it has emerged.
The extremists have continued to operate in Darna, despite the backlash that followed last month’s attack in Benghazi, 156 miles to the west, and despite fears of possible retaliation by the United States.
According to the Washington Post, for now, the militants appear to have taken cover in urban homes and farms in the remote Green Mountains that surround the city.
Officials have pointed out that the local government remains powerless to stop them, even as the extremists push their ideology just as fervently as before, the Post said.
According to the paper, the latest bombing in the eastern city came on early Thursday morning, when an explosion ripped through a building on the city’s outskirts that local authorities had hoped to use to support a new security force.
The locals said that the target was a car belonging to an official or journalist who has dared to defy the militias.
The paper quoted Tarik Sharqi, a fundamentalist imam in Darna, as saying those who adhere to the militias’ ideology have a simple goal-the implementation of Islamic law, or sharia.
He also pointed out that they want to see the United States pushed out of Muslim lands.
Locals considered the drones they now hear buzzing overhead “a form of occupation,” he said, adding Libyans would wage “jihad” to force them out.