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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Man wanted in Pennsylvania trooper ambush captured

Man wanted in Pennsylvania trooper ambush captured 

AP Photo
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Pennsylvania State Police shows Eric Frein, who has eluded police, but is charged with killing one Pennsylvania State Trooper and seriously wounding another in a late night ambush. Authorities said Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, that they have captured Frein.

BLOOMING GROVE, Pa. (AP) -- A survivalist accused of ambushing two state troopers, killing one and seriously wounding the other, was captured on Thursday by U.S. marshals in an abandoned airplane hangar, ending a seven-week manhunt that had rattled the nerves of area residents, authorities said.

The apparently quiet takedown of Eric Frein ended weeks of tension and turmoil in the area, as authorities at times closed schools, canceled outdoor events and blockaded roads to pursue him. Residents grew weary of hearing helicopters overhead, while small businesses suffered mounting losses and town supervisors canceled a popular Halloween parade.

State police confirmed Frein was taken into custody Thursday but released no other details. Media photographs show him sitting in the back of a cruiser with a bloodied nose, with longer hair than he had in images on the FBI's most wanted posters.

"Way to Go PSP!" a sign read across from the barracks in Blooming Grove, where the ambush occurred and where Frein was being held.

Two law enforcement officials said Frein was captured in the hangar. They weren't authorized to discuss the circumstances of Frein's arrest and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. A federal law enforcement official in Washington said Frein was armed when he was captured.

Frein is charged with opening fire outside the Blooming Grove barracks on Sept. 12, killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and seriously wounding another trooper.

Police said they linked him to the ambush after a man walking his dog discovered his partly submerged SUV three days later in a swamp a few miles from the shooting scene. Inside, investigators found shell casings matching those found at the barracks as well as Frein's driver's license, camouflage face paint, two empty rifle cases and military gear.

Officials, saying Frein was armed and extremely dangerous, had urged residents to be alert and cautious. Using dogs, thermal imaging technology and other tools, law enforcement officials combed miles of forest as they hunted for Frein, whom they called an experienced survivalist at home in the woods.

They pursued countless tips and closed in on an area around Frein's parents' home in Canadensis after he used his cellphone to try contacting them and the signal was traced to a location about 3 miles away. At times police ordered nearby residents to stay inside or prevented them from returning home.

Trackers found items they believe Frein hid or abandoned in the woods - including soiled diapers, empty packs of Serbian cigarettes, an AK-47-style assault rifle and ammunition and two pipe bombs that were functional and capable of causing significant damage. They also discovered a journal, allegedly kept by Frein and found in a bag of trash at a hastily abandoned campsite, that offered a chilling account of the ambush and his subsequent escape into the woods. The journal's author described Dickson as falling "still and quiet" after being shot twice.

Police spotted a man they believed to be Frein at several points during the manhunt, but it was always from a distance, with the rugged terrain allowing him to keep them at bay. Police said he appeared to be treating the manhunt as a game.

Frein had expressed anti-law enforcement views online and to people who knew him. His criminal record appeared limited to a decade-old misdemeanor case involving items stolen from a World War II re-enactors event in upstate New York, for which he spent 109 days in jail.

Police found a U.S. Army manual called "Sniper Training and Employment" in his bedroom at his parents' house, and his father, a retired Army major, told authorities that his son is an excellent marksman who "doesn't miss," according to a police affidavit. Authorities believe Frein had been planning a confrontation with police for years, citing information they found on a computer used by him.

A man and a woman believed to be Frein's parents, reached separately by telephone on Thursday, declined to comment.

The manhunt for Frein in northeastern Pennsylvania had scrapped some plans for trick-or-treating. The chairman of Barrett Township's board of supervisors planned to meet with other town officials to try to salvage Halloween.

"No police were hurt. Nobody else was hurt. He didn't take any more lives. He didn't shoot anybody else, from what I understand," chairman Ralph Megliola said. "That's the best scenario."

Helen Blackmore, who lives in the heart of the search zone in Cresco, was ready for some normalcy.

"It was very crazy here. The helicopters were out all the time. Nobody was sleeping. Even today they were out," she said. "We're relieved. We're very relieved. We want things to get back to normal."

Frein belonged to a military re-enactors group, playing the part of a Serbian solder. He had a small role in a 2007 movie about a concentration camp survivor and helped with props and historical references on a documentary about World War I.

The FBI named him to its 10 most wanted list.

His 18-year-old sister, Tiffany Frein, earlier acknowledged that he "did something messed up" but told NBC News that he is "not a psycho."

Frein is charged with first-degree murder and various other offenses, including two counts of possession of weapons of mass destruction filed after police discovered the pipe bombs.

Dickson, at his funeral, was called a devoted husband and father and "impeccable" ex-Marine who took his work seriously but also enjoyed making wooden toys for his young sons and finding humor in everyday situations.

Trooper Alex Douglass was shot in the pelvis and critically injured in the ambush, which took place during a late-night shift change. Douglass remained hospitalized until Oct. 16, when he was discharged to a rehabilitation facility, state police said.

"If you attack troopers, and a civilized society, the Pennsylvania State Police will bring you to justice. Eric Frein is a coward," the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association said in a statement. "Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II and Trooper Alex T. Douglass are true heroes."

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sheriff: School shooter invited victims to lunch

Sheriff: School shooter invited victims to lunch 

AP Photo
A sign bearing the Oct. 24, 2014 date of a shooting in the cafeteria of Marysville Pilchuck High School is shown Monday, Oct. 27, 2014 as part of a growing memorial on a fence around the school in Marysville, Wash.

MARYSVILLE, Wash. (AP) -- A popular student responsible for a shooting at a Washington state high school on Friday invited his victims to lunch by text message, then shot them at their table, investigators said Monday.

Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said at a news conference that the five students were at a lunch table when they were shot by 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg. Fryberg then committed suicide.

Detectives are digging through reams of text messages, phone and social media records as part of an investigation that could take months, Trenary said.

"The question everybody wants is, `Why?'" Trenary said. "I don't know that the `why' is something we can provide."

Fryberg, a football player who was named a prince on the school's Homecoming court one week before the killings, was a member of a prominent Tulalip Indian Tribes family. He seemed happy although he was also upset about a girl, friends said. His Twitter feed was recently full of vague, anguished postings, like "It won't last ... It'll never last," and "I should have listened. ... You were right ... The whole time you were right."

On Friday, after texting five friends to invite them to lunch, he pulled out a handgun in the cafeteria and started shooting. The victims were Zoe R. Galasso, 14, who died at the scene; Gia Soriano, 14, who died at a hospital Sunday night; Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, who remains in critical condition; and his two cousins, Nate Hatch, 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15.

Hatch, who was shot in the jaw, is the only victim who has shown improvement. He was upgraded to satisfactory condition Monday in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, while Andrew Fryberg remained in critical condition there.

Soriano's family said her organs would be donated.

"We are devastated by this senseless tragedy," her family said in a statement, read at a news conference by Providence Regional Medical Center's Dr. Joanne Roberts. "Gia is our beautiful daughter, and words cannot express how much we will miss her."

Trenary also confirmed that the .40-caliber handgun used in the shooting had been legally purchased by one of Fryberg's relatives. It remains unclear how Fryberg obtained the weapon.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner on Monday ruled Fryberg's death a suicide. There had been some question over whether he might have shot himself accidentally as a teacher tried to intervene, but Trenary said Monday that investigators confirmed there was no physical contact between the teacher and the gunman.

At the memorial outside the school Monday, a group of mourners hugged each other tightly at 10:39 a.m. - the minute the shooting was reported Friday. Flowers and signs were zip-tied to a chain-link fence lined with red and white balloons reflecting the school's colors. Many referenced the victims and said they'd be missed.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

South Africa goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa killed

South Africa goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa killed 

AP Photo
FILE- In this file photo dated Monday, May 26, 2014, South Africa's goalkeeper Senzo Robert Meyiwa makes a diving save against Australia during their friendly soccer match in Sydney. According to reports Sunday Oct. 26, 2014, soccer club Orlando Pirates says 27-year old South Africa goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa died during a shooting incident in South Africa.

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- The captain of South Africa's national soccer team was fatally shot when armed men broke into the house where he was staying, police said.

Goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa was killed around 8 p.m. Sunday after two gunmen entered a house in Vosloorus township near Johannesburg while an accomplice waited outside, the national police force said on its Twitter account. The three assailants then fled on foot, according to the police service, which offered a reward of nearly $14,000 for information leading to arrests in the case.

Police said there were seven people in the house during the attack, and that the shooting followed an "altercation."

Authorities said they would do everything possible to find the killers.

South African soccer club Orlando Pirates confirmed Meyiwa's death, saying in a statement that it "has learned with sadness about the untimely death of our number one goalkeeper and current captain Senzo Meyiwa."

"This is a sad loss whichever way you look at it - to Senzo's family, his extended family, Orlando Pirates and to the nation," Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza said.

Dean Furman, one of Meyiwa's teammates, tweeted: "Beyond devastated at the loss of our captain & friend Senzo Meyiwa. Thoughts & prayers are with his family & friends at this terrible time."

Meyiwa was South Africa's captain in its four qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations this year, including its last game, a 0-0 draw with Republic of Congo on Oct. 15.

It's the second death to hit South African sports in three days, as former 800-meter world champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was killed in a car crash on Friday. At the time, President Jacob Zuma said "the nation has lost a true hero."

Early Monday local time, the youth league of South Africa's ruling party sent condolences to the families of Meyiwa and Mulaudzi, saying "their premature passing is indeed a great loss to the country and sporting nation."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Nigeria declared Ebola-free; `spectacular success'

Nigeria declared Ebola-free; `spectacular success' 

AP Photo
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Ebola has killed more than 2,000 people in her country and has brought it to "a standstill," noting that Liberia and two other badly hit countries were already weakened by years of war.

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) -- Water laced with salt and sugar, and gallons of the nasty-tasting stuff.

Doctors who survived Ebola in Nigeria credited heavy doses of fluids with saving their lives as the World Health Organization declared the country Ebola-free Monday, a rare victory in the battle against the disease that is ravaging West Africa.

In the end, Nigeria - the most populous country in Africa, with 160 million people - had just 20 cases, including eight deaths, a lower death rate than the 70 percent seen elsewhere across the stricken region.

Officials are crediting strong tracking and isolation of people exposed to the virus, and aggressive rehydration of infected patients to counter the effects of vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms.

Nigeria's containment of Ebola is a "spectacular success story," said Rui Gama Vaz, WHO director for Nigeria.

Survivor Dr. Adaora Igonoh said the treatment is not easy. It entails drinking, as she did, at least five liters (1.3 gallons) of the solution every day for five or six days when you have mouth sores and a sore throat and feel depressed.

"You don't want to drink anything. You're too weak, and with the sore throat it's difficult to swallow, but you know when you have just vomited, you need it," she told The Associated Press. "I had to mentally tell myself, `You have got to drink this fluid, whether it tastes nice or not.'"

Some 9,000 people have been infected with Ebola, and about 4,500 have died, mostly in hard-hit Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, with the number of cases expected to increase exponentially in the coming weeks.

Dr. Simon Mardel, one of the world's leading experts on viral hemorrhagic fevers, said the number of deaths could be cut in half if infected people were taught to properly hydrate themselves and do not take anti-inflammatory drugs, which can actually harm Ebola victims.

In other developments:
- About 120 people in the U.S. are being monitored for symptoms because they may have had contact with one of Dallas' three Ebola victims. More than 40 others have been given the all-clear after the 21-day maximum incubation period for the virus ended.
- The European Union stepped up efforts to raise nearly $1.3 billion to combat the outbreak.
- President Barack Obama is working the phones with world leaders, appealing to them to join the fight.
- WHO director Margaret Chan said that an internal WHO report obtained by the AP that said the U.N. agency bungled efforts to control the outbreak was "a work in progress," and "the facts have not been fully checked."

Mardel, of Britain's University Hospital of South Manchester, called rehydration a low-tech approach that has been neglected by a medical system focused on groundbreaking research.

Nigeria's outbreak began in Lagos with a single infected Liberian diplomat who flew in in July, bringing the terrifying disease to Africa's biggest city, with 21 million people.

Many feared the worst in a city with large numbers of people living in crowded and unsanitary conditions in slums.

"The last thing anyone in the world wants to hear is the two words, `Ebola' and `Lagos,' in the same sentence," U.S. consul general Jeffrey Hawkins noted at the time, saying the development raised the specter of an "apocalyptic urban outbreak."

Instead, with swift coordination among state and federal health officials, the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and with ample financial and material resources from Nigeria's government, isolation wards were constructed and Ebola treatment centers designated.

Health workers tracked down nearly 100 percent of those who had contact with the infected, paying 18,500 visits to 894 people.

The eight deaths included two doctors and a nurse.

Monday's announcement came 42 days - twice the incubation period - since the last case in Nigeria tested negative.

"The outbreak in Nigeria has been contained," WHO's Vaz said. "But we must be clear that we only won a battle. The war will only end when West Africa is also declared free of Ebola."

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan said the success shows what Nigerians can achieve when they set aside their differences. He urged his people to replicate "the unity of purpose and all-hands-on-deck approach" in other areas of national life.

There is no licensed treatment for Ebola, so doctors focus on hydration and supportive care, even in developed countries. In some cases, doctors have been surprised that keeping patients hydrated has been enough to save them.

To improve survival rates, Mardel said, it is time to designate packaged rehydration solutions as part of the cure. He said more needs to be done to make the fluids palatable, such as making the solutions weaker or flavoring them.

Igonoh said she sometimes added orange juice.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Lamont A. Nelson: Return Of the Value in Graffiti as a Form of Public Art by Van Stone frontpagenews1@yahoo.com (267)293-9201

Lamont A. Nelson: Return Of the Value in Graffiti as a Form of Public Art by Van Stone frontpagenews1@yahoo.com (267)293-9201

Lamont Anthony Nelson, Graffiti Artist, Director of VSP Foundation Visual Arts

Lamont Anthony Nelson, a street artist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1965.  He took strong interest in his hobby-art, which has now gained some interest in people admiring his work. At first this was a simple home organizing project, at which continued to develop, the more he worked at it. Just using letter styling art and creating different patterns, Nelson used the ink and pen to become more diverse as some nice graffiti artwork has been created.

Nelson began his career as a graffiti artist in the early 2000s, and that type of public art is, in fact an effective tool of social emancipation or, an achievement of a social-political goal.

Lamont is a solo graffiti artist, as well as the director of the Van Stone Productions Foundation Visual Arts Programming in Philadelphia, who will collaborate with anyone who is productive.

In his quest to find some graffiti opportunities at first he concluded that there was not a whole lot of interest. As several meetings with people in the hip-hop and the media fields became enjoyable, this has sparked an opportunity to be exposed on a broader spectrum of visual arts graffiti.

His current work is created by free hand ink pen on basic thin cardboard to develop designs of different graffiti styles.   His graffiti style combined of street, radical, and political hand writing to get his message across has only been in effect for the last five years. Nelson does personal work and designs, using imagination and creativity, to stencil and see what can develop as possibly a new trend in the art world.

Nelson's graffiti artwork is characterized by striking images of different letter designs of phrases, titles, or a person’s name. As this trend continues to grow Lamont would like to see this develop into hobby device for anyone to be able to pick up. His work has been both small and large scale stencil work.  Nelson is going to challenge himself to start designing on a larger scale to bring out more of his talent.

One of his goals using his art work is to make graffiti an accessible as any other hobby of the arts and crafts project. Nelson has learned that his graffiti artist craft could become a practice platform for even the already established artist. Pursuing further opportunities, Nelson will most definitely open up graffiti-art to a new market to attract a wide base of visual arts admirers.   

Friday, October 17, 2014

Upcoming Fashion And Hair Style Model Neyema- Set To Launch Flawless Model Programming For Youth Development By Van Stone frontpagenews1@yahoo.com (267) 293-9201

Upcoming Fashion And Hairstyle Model Neyema- Set To Launch Flawless Model Programming For Youth Development By Van Stone frontpagenews1@yahoo.com (267) 293-9201

Neyema, Modeling Programming Youth Director, Fashion and Hairstyle, of
Northeast Philadelphia, PA.

Neyema, model educator for clothing and hair, of the Northeast sector of Philly, Pa. is preparing young girls (children and teens) to be launched in 2015.  Neyema, promoter of her own modeling program,  is a long-term client modeling management intervention for disconnected youth whose obstacles such as lack of education, homelessness, trauma, substance abuse, and court involvement prevent them from accessing resources and achieving educational, employment, and healthy living goals.

Neyema, a skilled fashion and hair style model involving mini-shows and larger shows develop model activities to help young ladies work on their self-esteem issues. 

Neyema encourages on a one-on-one modeling education basis with each youth to remove barriers, proactively encourage participation in a broad set of modeling services, and connect them to other needed resources through participation in a broad set of her very own services, and connect them to other needed resources within the community so they may make a successful transition to adulthood and reconnect to their families and communities.

“Our mission,” says Neyema, is to bring a group of young females together and reassuringly help them to build their self-esteem and to become confident within themselves. 

According to Neyema, throughout the past couple years there have been an increasing number of young girls with low self-esteem.   A report by the charity Girl Guiding assisted with Neyema’s view of statistics:

“The overall proportion of those surveyed who were not happy with their looks rose to 33% this year, from 29% last year and 26% two years ago. The 63% happy with how they look has fallen from 73% two years ago to 63% now At ages 14 to 16, 51% of girls are unhappy with their appearance, and even after that age, 52% are still unhappy. 

Neymea, will help youngsters understand from personal experience as well that “it is known to many how it feels to feel un-pretty, or left out, or just not good enough for the rest. And this is why my own idea is being brought to youngster to try and reach out to them and others”.

Neyema’s goal is to help make an impact on certain aspects of young girls’ lives, especially, Black girls, to show them that they are capable in doing whatever it is their hearts may desire.
This will be done by allowing the girls to express themselves freely through fashion. 

Neyema, working across programs to address all the youth’s needs, she will work with youth over an extended period of time, approximately 4 to 6 years if necessary.  Model Neyema, will also continue to work with youth even after they complete programs and services, ensuring a lasting impact by constantly moving towards academic success, long-term employment, and live healthy living skills.
The Philadelphia Front Page News-Magazine team will look forward to supporting Neyema’s dream of seeing youngsters become successful, even if it’s only making the photo cover of a magazine. For more info about Neyema and the modeling program feel free to contact Media Key 307 Magazine Cover or Philadelphia Front Page Magazine at frontpagenews1@yahoo.com or Vanstone Philadelphiafrontpagenews facebook page.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Egypt's foray into Libya underlines its concerns

Egypt's foray into Libya underlines its concerns

AP Photo
A fire truck drives towards smoke caused by an attack by Islamist militias during clashes with forces led by renegade Libyan Gen. Khalifa Hifter in Benghazi, Libya, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Islamist militias fought Wednesday with forces loyal to Hifter, who vows to seize the eastern city of Benghazi, as a top militia commander accused Egypt of bombing his positions with warplanes.
BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) -- Egypt's military involvement in Libya underlines Cairo's concerns about the threat posed by Islamic militant groups operating near the two nations' porous border, as well as home-grown jihadis who rely on their Libyan comrades for weapons. Above all, Egypt aims to prevent these groups from linking up.

As fighting continued for a second day Thursday in Benghazi, where residents reported Egyptian warplanes have been pounding Islamist militia positions, analysts warned that Cairo's foray into the ongoing fighting in Libya could deepen the turmoil there.

Egyptian and Libyan officials have denied Egypt was carrying out airstrikes, while the United States, which maintains a naval force in the Mediterranean that includes surveillance aircraft, has not confirmed the aerial campaign.

Egypt's military involvement reinforces the notion that Libya has become a proxy battleground for larger regional struggles, with Turkey and Qatar backing the Islamist militias while Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates support their opponents.

U.S. officials confirmed over the summer that Egypt and the UAE were carrying out airstrikes against militia positions in and around the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Egypt denied involvement, while the UAE said nothing publicly.

Egyptian military intervention in Libya has long been anticipated since the election in June of its new president, former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who has striven to restore Egypt's traditional role as the region's chief player.

But it has also been dictated by the growing threat from weapons and militants illegally crossing the desert frontier between Libya into Egypt, where Egypt is determined to prevent Egyptian and Libyan militant groups from linking up on its soil.

Egypt has been battling a burgeoning insurgency by Islamic militants since the ouster last year by el-Sissi of the nation's first freely elected president, the Islamist Mohammed Morsi. Authorities have since cracked down on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, killing hundreds of its supporters and jailing thousands.

The post-Morsi violence began in the Sinai Peninsula, long a bastion of dissent and militancy that borders 
Gaza and Israel, but later spread across much of the country with bombings and assassinations.

"This is bound to exacerbate the fault lines and push the other side toward more militancy," Frederic Wehrey, a senior associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said of Egypt's involvement in Libya.

"Libya is complex, with a mixture of hard-core jihadi groups, but a lot of those Islamists are into participation in the political process," added Wehrey, a frequent visitor to Libya.

Jason Pack, a Libya expert at Britain's Cambridge University, also warned of the complexity of the Libyan conflict, saying Egyptian involvement could have unforeseen consequences.

"Egyptians are making the same mistakes in Libya that the West made in Iraq and Afghanistan," Pack said. "They support one side over the other. But in Libya the divisions are not between Islamists and non-Islamists. 

The conflict is very complex."

Libya is witnessing its worst spasm of violence since Moammar Gadhafi's regime was overthrown in 2011 by NATO-backed rebels following an eight-month civil war. Militias born in that conflict have since challenged successive governments, which have failed to integrate them into the army and security forces or rein them in, leaving armed militiamen to operate outside state control with impunity.

In June, after Islamist factions fared poorly in parliamentary elections, militias supporting them launched a broad offensive that ended with Libya's two biggest cities - Tripoli and Benghazi - falling under their control. The elected parliament and internationally recognized government was forced to set in the eastern city of Tobruk as the militias in Tripoli revived an old parliament and formed their own government.

Since Gadhafi's ouster and the overthrow of Egypt's long-time ruler, Hosni Mubarak, in Arab Spring uprisings, Egypt has become a major transit route for smuggled arms and militants across the Egyptian-Libyan border. Rockets, anti-aircraft guns, mortars and artillery that flooded Libya during the civil war have f
ound their way to the Sinai and into the hands of the militants fighting army troops and police there.

Through an elaborate network of underground tunnels under the Sinai-Gaza border, some of those weapons have also reached Gaza's militant Islamist groups, including Hamas.

Since his rise to power, el-Sissi has repeatedly warned that the upheaval in Libya poses a serious threat to Egypt's national security.

Over the past year, Egypt's army has stepped up its patrolling along the frontier with Libya, cracking down on smugglers and beefing up security. In Sinai, it has destroyed most of the tunnels leading to Gaza and intensified its campaign against the militants.

Still, a brazen attack by militants in July killed 22 army soldiers in Egypt's western desert near the Libyan border in one of the deadliest attacks on the Egyptian army in years. El-Sissi vowed then that the attack would not go unpunished.

In an interview with The Associated Press last month, el-Sissi blamed the West and NATO for backing the rebels fighting Gadhafi's forces then withdrawing with the "job incomplete."

"Weapons should have been collected, the army and security agencies should have been rebuilt, and there should have been help in setting up a democratic system that satisfies all Libyans. That never happened," he told the AP.

As the Benghazi fighting continued on Thursday between a coalition of Islamist militias and government troops backed by armed residents, masked and armed civilians set up checkpoints across the city to guard their neighborhoods.

Army supporters used garbage dumpsters, tires and cars to barricade streets as they searched passers-by. Most shops were shuttered, although a few bakeries, pharmacies and coffee shops were open early in the morning.

The Egyptian airstrikes were greeted with mixed reactions on the ground in Libya.

"If I were el-Sissi, I would do the same," said former rebel commander Fadallah Haroun, who supports the Libyan army's Benghazi offensive. Libya's eastern frontier, he said, is "Egypt's strategic backyard and it is better to secure it before chaos spills across the border."

"If you ask people here, they would support Arab involvement to restore stability and stop the daily bloodshed. A lot of blood has been spilled here," he added.

Mohammed Gaballah, a 23-year-old activist in Benghazi, said he opposed foreign involvement.

"I am against turning Libya into a stage for settling scores among international and regional players. This will only increase the proxy war," he said.

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