Civilian Arms Collection in Libya Brings In Heat Seeking Missiles and a Tank

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Keeping with the pacified spirit of the country since the attack on the U.S. embassy, the Libyan government coordinated an arms collection drive over the weekend. Hundreds of Libyans returned weapons in different cities across the country, including three heat seeking missiles and a tank. 

Yes, heat seeking missiles, tanks and hundreds of rockets launchers and other weapons came in from the steady lines of Libyan residents who came out to relinquish their weapons back to the government. There were sites set up in Tripoli, Benghazi, and small handful of other cities where Libyans could go and return their weapons. It's only a fraction of the weapons released to the public during Muammar Qaddafi's, but it's still considered a step in the right direction. "As long as there are arms on the streets, I can't move freely or go about my normal life, so we really welcome this step," one civilian told Al-Jazeera. "I want to live in a peaceful place where only the police and army have arms," another told Reuters

The arms collection was a joint effort between the government and a local television station looking to seize on the newfound goodwill of the Libyan people following last week's dissolution of many of the country's militias. The TV station offered to raffle cars and other prizes at the end of the day for people who had turned weapons over. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.