Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Violent protests break out in Libya

Clashes reported in eastern city of Benghazi as security forces and government supporters confront demonstrators.


"Protesters have clashed with police and government supporters in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, reports say.

Demonstrators gathered in the early hours of Wednesday morning in front of police headquarters and chanted slogans against the "corrupt rulers of the country", Al Jazeera's sources said.

Police fired tear gas and violently dispersed protesters, the sources said without providing further details.

The online edition of Libya's privately-owned Quryna newspaper, which is based in Benghazi, said the protesters were armed with petrol bombs and threw stones.

According to the newspaper, 14 people were injured in the clashes, including three demonstrators and 10 security officials.

In a telephone interview with Al Jazeera, Idris Al-Mesmari, a Libyan novelist and writer, said that security officials in civilian clothes came and dispersed protesters by using tear gas, batons and hot water.

Al-Mesmari was arrested hours after the interview, unconfirmed reports say.

'Day of rage' called

Anti-government protesters have also called on citizens to observe Thursday as a "Day of Rage". They are hoping to emulate recent popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia to end Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's 41-year-old rule......"

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