Syrians in Tripoli, Libya's capital, wave Syria's old flag during a demonstration to call for President Bashar Assad's ouster. (Mahmud Turkia / AFP/Getty Images / December 9, 2011)
Thousands of Syrians have sought refuge in the Libyan city of Benghazi. They arrive by bus daily in the city, which is still recovering from Libya's civil war.
By Ruth Sherlock, Los Angeles Times
December 26, 2011, 5:46 p.m.
Reporting from Benghazi, LibyaŚ
Even as it recovers from its recent civil war, Libya is fast becoming a place of sanctuary for thousands of refugees fleeing the bloodshed in Syria.
Buses from Damascus, crammed with Syrian families, are arriving daily in the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of the effort to oust the late Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi.
"Up to 4,000 Syrian families have sought refuge in Libya in the last weeks, and the numbers are increasing every day," said Mohammed Jammal, a Syrian community leader in the city. "The buses arrive full and go back empty. There used to be two a week, but now there are two a day."
Crammed full with families and young men, the buses pull into the station at all times of the night after a grueling 41/2-day trip, crossing first into Jordan, then across the Suez Canal, through Egypt and down the long road to Benghazi.