By Libya Herald reporters.
Benghazi, 7 July 2017:
The victory celebrations in Benghazi have been marred by the death of a woman and child hit by spent bullets fired off by triumphant soldiers and police.
Besides the two dead, Jalaa hospital reported that eight people had been injured not all of them by spent rounds. At least two people were injured by the many fireworks let off in the street.
Convoys of hooting cars including police patrol vehicles with sirens blaring continued to parade around the city until the early hours of this morning and the celebrations resumed after Friday prayers. A large number of people gathered in Kish square, chanting, cheering, waving flags and giving out sweets. Two years ago demonstrators in the same square were hit by mortars fired from militant-held Sabri and nine people were killed.
Because school is now out for the holidays, those children who were not taking year-end exams seemed to be everywhere, many giving military salutes with either hand.
The municipality and civil society organisations have been meeting to plan the clean-up and restoration of their city. However, apart from the sewerage that has flooded out from broken drainage pipes and formed noxious ponds in both Suq Al-Hout and Sabri, where the militants made their final stand, there is a considerable danger from unexploded ordinance, mines and boobytraps that hard-pressed Libyan National Army (LNA) engineers have not yet had time to clear.
The liberation of the city, bar the last militant remnants holed up in a few buildings in Sidi Akribesh, has probably meant most for the few inhabitants who refused to leave when militants seized control of their district. LNA members posted footage of one family emerging tearfully and an old lady be hugged by a soldier as she wept with relief.
Nevertheless, some home owners have risked triggering explosions and already gone back to their Sabri properties, either to see what is left of them or because they can no longer afford to stay as internally displaced people elsewhere in the city.
It appears also that not everyone has entered Sabri with honest intentions. The LNA said today they had arrested a suspected looter in possession of a flat screen television set.