A group of Libyans angry at the international intervention in their homeland blocked the path of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon following his meeting at the Arab League on Monday.
Ban had finished talks with the Arab League chief Amr Moussa and left the organization's headquarters in Cairo for a walkabout in nearby Tahrir Square, the centerpiece of Egyptian uprising that last month toppled Hosni Mubarak, when dozens of Libyan protesters converged on him and his security detail.
The Libyans, carrying pictures of Moammar Gadhafi and banners critical of the United States and United Nation, blocked Ban's path, forcing him to return to the league and leave from another exit.
Moussa, meanwhile, tried to smooth over the controversy that emerged following his statement Sunday that questioned Arab participation in the coalition bombing Gadhafi's forces and his allegation that the international attacks went beyond the mandate to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.
Libya has claimed dozens of civilians have been killed in the strikes by the U.S. and European forces. "We respect the Security Council's resolution and we have no conflict with the resolution, especially as it confirms that there is no invasion or occupation of Libyan territory," Moussa said.
He underscored the U.N. resolution, saying "it only deals with threats against citizens in Benghazi and elsewhere in Libya" and added the league "will continue working to protect the civilians" in Libya. The pro-Gadhafi protesters in Cairo also shouted against Moussa, U.S., Britain and France.