Eleven die in Libya over Muhammad cartoon T-shirt

Sunday, February 19, 2006

At least 11 people died in Benghazi, Libya on Friday when about 1,000 protesters surrounded and set fire to an Italian consulate and burned Danish flags. The demonstration was in protest of Italian Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli, who had worn a T-shirt displaying the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons.

A Libyan government statement said, "eleven casualties, including dead, resulted from the clashes." some of the casualties were police officers.

After wearing the T-shirt, Calderoli offered to resign.

On Saturday, Libya suspended its Interior Minister, Nasr al-Mabrouk. Libya said that "excessive use of force" was used in the riots the day before. The government also said that "all those involved in Friday's riots and the officials responsible for them" should be investigated and referred to the courts. "We condemn the excessive use of force and the inappropriate way that went beyond the limits of carrying out the duties of the police."