- Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters march in Benghazi
- They overtake an Ansar al-Sharia Islamist group building without firing a shot
- That group is tied to an attack last week that left 4 Americans dead
Benghazi, Libya (CNN) -- Ten days after four Americans were killed in their Libyan city, hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators marched in Benghazi and overtook the headquarters of a radical Islamist group tied to the attack.
The protesters took to the street Friday, loudly declaring that they -- and not those behind last week's deadly attack -- represent the real sentiments of the Libyan people.
As militia members fled, the protesters torched a vehicle and took over the headquarters of Ansar al-Sharia without firing a single shot. They also claimed to have freed at least 20 captives held in the building.
On the night of September 11, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was one of four slain after a group assaulted the U.S. Consulate in the eastern Libyan city. Seen as the birthplace of the revolution that led to the death of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Benghazi has in recent months been beset by security issues.
Ansar al-Sharia, a loosely connected radical Islamist group, has been active of late in Benghazi. Initial reports indicated the group had organized a protest to decry an inflammatory film that mocks the Muslim Prophet Mohammed and the United States, where it was privately produced, ahead of the consular attack.
On Thursday, Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur told CNN that eight detained in connection with that assault include members of Ansar al-Sharia, though he added that not all the attackers came from one specific group.
Responding to the report from Benghazi, U.S. Sen. John McCain applauded the citizens' efforts Friday and said it represented the true, freedom-loving Libya that he and other U.S. officials involved in the country knew.
"Somewhere Chris Stevens is smiling," the Arizona Republican said. "This is what we knew ... about Libya."