Accessibility links

Breaking News

Muslim Brotherhood Holds First Public Conference In Libya

The Muslim Brotherhood is holding its first public conference on Libyan soil after being banned for decades.

The event is expected to attract several hundred delegates to the eastern city of Benghazi for several days of meetings.

The conference opened nine months to the day after the start of the popular uprising that brought down longtime ruler Muammar Qaddafi, with the help of a UN resolution authorizing the NATO alliance to provide air support to protect civilians.

Under Qaddafi's rule, the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood -- an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood -- met underground for fear of reprisals or held its conferences abroad.

Delegates said the current meeting was called to decide which direction the group should take as Libya moves toward democracy. In his speech, leader Suleiman Abdelkader emphasized the group's moderate nature.

Many observers believe that Libya's next elections would pit religious political groups against secular parties.

compiled from Reuters and other reports