Mercenary attacks fail to deter anti-Gaddafi protests as people tell of bloodshed despite the news blackout
guardian.co.uk, Monday 21 February 2011
"As determined demonstrators against Gaddafi headed to the vast, palm-tree fringed Green Square in central Tripoli on Monday, protesters talked of the gathering as the "new Tahrir Square".
Inspired by Egypt's revolution, they vowed to sleep out in the centre of Libyan's Mediterranean port capital there until "the job was done" and the Libyan dictator had fled.
With the death toll estimated by Libyan rights groups to be more than 400 in five days, this seemed an almost impossibly dangerous challenge. But shocked by the scale of the violent repression of the protests, many felt they had nothing left to lose, according to exiled activists who described the scene.
With phonelines cut off all day, the internet connection patchy, and no foreign journalists allowed in, a news blackout on the ground disorientated residents who couldn't contact relatives. Reporters had to rely on accounts by human rights networks and exiled opposition activists.
But within hours, reports began to filter through about the deafening sound of military aircraft targeting demonstrators in what opposition groups warned was a "massacre". For the second night running, Gaddafi appeared to have deployed a shoot-to-kill policy to disperse the protests that had spread to the capital from the east of the country....."