Benghazi before and after NATO intervention: Young man’s photos highlight devastation in Libya
His photos posted on Twitter show the same locations in Benghazi after 18 years. Where there were once tall buildings and clean, wide streets, there are now bullet-ridden ruins following the 2011 uprising, which was backed by a bombing campaign by the US-led NATO bloc and led to the deposing and murder of long-time Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Benghazi gained infamy a year later after the US diplomatic facilities in the city were attacked by terrorists, who killed several American citizens, including US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
Libya, which used to be one of the most important players in the region, plunged into chaos as various groups competed for power. There are currently has two rival governments in the country – one in Tobruk and the other in Tripoli - which are unable to find common ground after years of negotiations, while large parts of the country are also run by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other radical groups.
The dreadful security situation in the country also became one of the main reasons for the migrant crisis of 2015 in Europe, as traffickers turned Libya into a launch pad to send hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the violence in the North Africa and the Middle East across the Mediterranean Sea.
The before and after pictures were shared online by the account that posts historical photos and videos from Libya under Gaddafi’s rule between 1969 and 2011.
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