By Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 17 November 2013:
Driving across Tripoli today at 4.30 pm the streets were eerily quiet, with no security, army . . .[restrict]or police presence or checkpoints in the city centre.
The end of Al Sekka Road, where the Prime Minister’s Office is, was blocked in both directions by youths who had piled debris across it and set tyres alight. When they saw photos being taken from a taxi, they angrily gave chase and threw rocks. The Prime Minister’s office had reportedly closed in the afternoon, and staff sent home early.
There have been reports that some roads leading off the Airport Road have also been blocked with burning tyres, as well as roads leading to other areas of the capital.
Even at locations where there are usually checkpoints, such as at the roundabout by the port, there was no security presence at all. During a 30-minute drive, the only security visible on the streets was near the Mahari Radisson Blu Hotel, opposite the Turkish embassy.
A convoy of unarmed vehicles with youths hanging out of car windows waving Libyan flags was seen driving down Mansoura Road. Some vehicles carried placards reading: “Free Libyans, from Janzour to Tajoura.” One vehicle had flashing lights and a loud-haler, but it was not possible to discern what was being said. [/restrict]