Friday, February 18, 2011

Libyan protesters in deadly clashes with police

Security forces have fired on demonstrators, with funerals in Benghazi and al-Bayda expected to spark more protests

Owen Bowcott, Friday 18 February 2011

"Anti-Gadaffi demonstrators have taken over several cities in eastern Libya but scores have been killed, according to exiled opposition groups based in London.

Government troops have withdrawn from al-Bayda, the country's third largest city and scene of earlier confrontations, and protesters have blocked the airport's runway to prevent military reinforcements arriving, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya maintains.

Mohamad Ali Abdalla, deputy director of the NFSL who has been in touch with Libyan opposition groups across the country, said: "I was told that there were 13 deaths in the city of al-Bayda alone last night and six more in Benghazi.

"In al-Bayda the city has been taken over and protesters are dismantling the runway to stop any military planes landing.

"In total there have been 30 deaths in [the eastern city of] Benghazi since demonstrations began on January 15th. Some of those who died were injured citizens who had been taken to al-Jala hospital in Benghazi.

"Members of the revolutionary committee were shooting the injured who were brought in. I was told this by a nurse in al-Jala Hospital."

The government's revolutionary committee headquarters have been captured in other places, the NFSL claimed. In Ajdabiya, in north-eastern Libya, demonstrators were in charge of the city....."

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