By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 20 February 2014:
Five polling stations were blown up in Derna late last night causing severe damages to buildings . . .[restrict]and reportedly intimidating voters from going out to vote in today elections for the Constitutional Committee. A man was killed in one of the attacks.
“Five of the 18 polling centres in Derna were blown up late yesterday night”, an official at Derna Local Council told the Libya Herald this morning. The attacks took place between 2 am and 4 am, he said.
“The blasts caused serious damage to the buildings”, all of which are local schools, the official said. The bombs were believed to have been remote controlled, he added.
Voters were now afraid were now afraid to go to the remaining poling stations, he said.
It was initially reported that a guard at one of the centres was killed. However, an election official in Derna has told this newspaper that the dead man was someone who lived next door to the Muftah Al-Magri school, being used as polling centre. When he saw gunmen trying to break in, he remonstrated with them. They then shot him, the official said.
He added that there had been no security support for the elections in Derna from the government “at all”.
During the day, he said, just three polling centres were operating in Derna and the surrounding area. Fifteeen were closed.
Just over a week ago, Derna Local Council told this paper that elections to the Constitutional Committee might not be possible because of the security vacuum. However, yesterday, a council official said that elections would now go ahead despite the lack of an army and police presence. People wanted to vote and locals had volunteered to protect the polling stations. [/restrict]