Sunday, February 20, 2011

Death Toll Rises In Libya as Regimes Continue Crackdowns Against Protests

It's believed that at least 200 people have been killed in Libya by Mumar Khadafi's security forces. The protesters have been rallying against Khadafi's failed 40+ year rule over the country, and comes amidst revolutions in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt.
Moammar Gadhafi's forces have opened fire on mourners at the funeral for anti-government protesters in the city of Benghazi, where a doctor says at least 200 people have already been slain in days of demonstrations.

A man shot in the leg Sunday said marchers were bearing coffins to a cemetery when they passed a Gadhafi compound in Libya's second-largest city. The man said security forces fired in the air and then opened up on the crowd.

A hospital official says four people have been wounded, two seriously.

The doctor in Benghazi, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears reprisal, said his hospital is out of supplies and cannot treat more than 70 wounded who were hit in the attacks and need attention.

"I am crying," the doctor said. "Why is the world not listening?"

Witnesses told The Associated Press a mixture of special commandos, foreign mercenaries and Gadhafi loyalists went after demonstrators on Saturday with knives, assault rifles and heavy-calibre weapons.
Protesters were again attacked in Yemen as well, as the Yemeni regime attempted to break the protests there as well.

There are ongoing demonstrations in Bahrain as well. The situation there remains dangerous but the security forces have backed off for the moment.
In Bahrain, thousands of jubilant opposition protesters moved back into Pearl Square in the capital, Manama, Saturday, setting up a tent camp after the Gulf state's minority Sunni rulers ordered police and army forces to withdraw.

Bahrain's ruling al-Khalifa family also offered to open a dialogue with the majority Shi'ite-led opposition, which has demanded democratic reforms to strip the constitutional monarchy of its powers to fill key government posts.
It looks like a full scale insurrection is going on in Libya, as opponents to the regime took a car packed with explosives and drove it into a military camp to blow it up; security forces then opened fire on the protesters.
Protests in Benghazi, Libya, escalated Sunday, as protesters packed at least one car with explosives and sent it crashing into a compound wall at the Alfadeel Abu-Omar military camp, witnesses said.

Security forces then fired on protesters as they attempted to breach the camp, the witnesses said.

Earlier, thousands of mourners, some carrying coffins above their heads, crowded into the streets of Benghazi.

The crowds walked as part of a funeral for several people killed in clashes that began Saturday afternoon between civilians and security forces loyal to Gadhafi, eyewitnesses told CNN.

Clashes disrupted the funeral processions on Sunday as mourners walked toward the city's main cemetery, witnesses said. The route used by them passes by police headquarters and the Alfadeel Abu-Omar military camp.

One man, who was in the procession, said a uniformed battalion opened fire on the mourners. Some people were killed, he said, but did not give a number.
Numerous reports indicate that the death toll continues rising, but there are also reports that elements of the Libyan military have defected from Khadafi, particularly in Benghazi. Clashes have now broken out in Tripoli.

Khadafi's son warns that the regime will restore calm at any price, which means that the bloodshed will only increase significantly.
Libya's army has been told to restore security "at any price" and will remain loyal to longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi, Gadhafi's son told Libyans in a televised address early Monday.

[Updated: 1:30 a.m. Monday, Libya; 6:30 p.m. Sunday ET]: The son of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi early Monday promised widespread reforms, including increased salaries and a relaxed criminal code, in an attempt to head off a growing revolt.

[Updated: 1:19 a.m. Monday, Libya; 6:19 p.m. Sunday ET]: The son of Moammar Gadhafi warned early Monday that the country faced "civil war" and a breakup of the nation if protesters go on.

[Updated: 1:09 a.m. Monday, Libya; 6:09 p.m. Sunday ET]: The son of Moammar Gadhafi said early Monday that a "great sedition" was under way in Benghazi, the country's second-largest city, but said the death toll was smaller than what is being reported by international news outlets.

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