By Aimen Eljali and Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 16 November 2013:
As many as 2,000 people thronged into Martyrs Square this afternoon to attend . . .[restrict]the funerals of seven of the victims of yesterday’s mass slaughter at Gharghour. Members of the victims families were also there.
At about 3.30 pm, demonstrators marched to Martyrs’ Square and joined another large crowd gathered there.
“There are many, many people here,” one mourner told the Libya Herald, “I think more than 2,000.” He said these included women and children. Some were crying, he said, but most people there were very angry.
“More and more people are still coming,” he said, “It’s like all of Tripoli is coming here.”
The atmosphere in the square was highly charged , with the crowds shouting takbirs (“Allahu Akbar”) and slogans against the killing of the unarmed protestors.
There were several emotional moments when the coffins were lifted after the prayers as women and men wept and shouted “Martyrs Martyrs for the sake of Libya”.
There was a heavy security presence with all the traffic stopped around the square and snipers on the rooftops of buildings overlooking the square. Many who wanted to join in were turned back.
The seven coffins were removed after the prayers, and taken for burial, some to Tripoli’s main cemetery, others to the seafront cemetery at Tajoura. However, about a thousand people stayed in the square continuing to call out against the killing and in support of Tajoura for not allowing the incoming forces from Misrata to enter the capital.
Of these, some 500-600 then headed to Harida Square and assembled early in the evening outside the Al-Quds mosque where yesterday the protestors had gathered. They then tried to proceed to Gharghour but were stopped at the Bab Al-Aziziya roundabout at around 7.30 pm by troops from Deraa (Libva Shield) Central Battalion. The latter took over Gharghour from the Misrata militia a very early this morning, on the orders from Chief of Staff, declaring a State of Emergency for the area and it a zone closed to the public. [/restrict]