Benghazi, Libya – Hundreds of Libyans converged Saturday on a main square in Benghazi and another in Tripoli in response to a call from the military to hand over their weapons.
The call by the Libyan chiefs of staff was promoted on a private TV station in August. But it may have gained traction in the wake of the attack against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in which the American ambassador and three staffers were killed.
Army Col. Omran al-Warfali said the turnout has been impressive.
“Hundreds of citizens came since the early hours of this morning to hand over their weapons from all segments of society – men and youth, women, and even children came to hand over bullets they found in the streets,” he said.
Last Western detainee sent to Canada
Omar Ahmed Khadr, the youngest and last remaining Western prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay detention center for terrorism suspects, was sent home Saturday to his native Canada after a decade at the U.S. military prison in southern Cuba.
Khadr was one of only four prisoners at Guantanamo serving a sentence for terrorist offenses. He entered a guilty plea at the end of his October 2010 trial on charges of “murder in violation of the law of war,” attempted murder, conspiracy, spying and material support for terrorism.
Under the plea deal, he was to serve one year of his eight-year sentence at Guantanamo, then be repatriated to Canada to serve out the rest.
Khadr, whose radical Egyptian-born father had taken him to al-Qaida compounds from early childhood, was 15 when he was pulled, near death, from the rubble of a bombed Taliban hide-out near Khost. He was accused of lobbing a grenade that killed Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer when the U.S. troops stormed the compound.