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Libya armed group detains comic book event organizers

AFPTRIPOLI (AFP-Jiji) — A Libyan armed group said Saturday it had closed a comic book convention in Tripoli and detained the organizers for an “attack on morals and modesty” in the strife-ridden country.

Hundreds of young Libyans on Friday flocked to the opening of the city’s second Comic Con festival, including some dressed up as their favorite heros from American comic books and Japanese manga.

Later in the day members from the Deterrence Force — a group of mainly conservative Islamists that acts as the police for the U.N.-backed government — entered the venue, seized computers and arrested organizers, a participant said.

The group said those responsible for the event would be handed over “to prosecutors for an attack on morals and modesty” as they looked to prey on youths in the city.

“This sort of festival imported from abroad exploits the weakness in their religious faith and their fascination with foreign cultures,” said a statement posted on Facebook.

Comic Con began in 1970 as a convention of a few dozen fans who swapped superhero magazines in the United States.

The event has grown in size and spread around the world, including to ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia.

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