>Libyan army defects, liberates Benghazi. Vid. Pics. Tripoli clashes."World is watching" says Britain’s For. Sec.

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Also: further deaths.

The news of further deaths comes as Libya’s representative to the Arab League tendered his resignation in protest to “oppression against protesters”.

There are also reports of clashes in central Tripoli between thousands of protesters and Gaddafi supporters.

Coffins of protesters are carried through the streets.

troops have fired machine guns at crowds.

There was also widespread speculation within Libya that the regime had hired African mercenaries to suppress any anti-government action.

“People were protesting… the forces just attacked to make them leave.”

“There was artillery fire back at young boys who were protesting infront of a big military compound where Colonel Gaddafi usually lives when he’s here,” she said.

“The boys are trying to take this from the army but I don’t think they’ll have any chance because of the heavy artillery they’re using against them.”

It followed reports that said snipers opened fire on a crowd of mourners during the day who had gathered to bury those killed in earlier protests.

Resident Mary said there was another demonstration infront of Benghazi’s courthouse on Sunday.

“There was 50 bodies taken for burial from the courthouse and I heard they were travelling to the funeral procession and there was very heavy gunfire,” she said.

“I don’t know if they were firing at them (the mourners), but it seemed like it.”

Protesters gathered outside the Libyan embassy in London

Separate reports backed her comments, indicating Libyan forces had again opened fire on mourners on Sunday.

Britian’s Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned the violence unleashed by Colonel Gaddafi, says”…the world is watching.”

Amplify’d from www.uruknet.info
Libyan Army Defects And ‘Liberates’ Benghazi
Alex Rossi, in Cairo, and Katie Cassidy

February 20, 2011

Members of a Libyan army unit have told Benghazi residents they have defected and “liberated” the city from pro-Gaddafi forces.

Speaking from Benghazi, a local man named Benali, told Sky News that members of the Libya’s armed forces have defected and that anti-regime protesters are now in control of the city.

Habib al-Obaidi, who heads the intensive care unit at the main Al-Jalae hospital, appeared to confirm the reports, saying the “Thunderbolt” squad arrived at the hospital with soldiers who had been injured in clashes with Gaddafi’s men.

“They are now saying that they have overpowered the Praetorian Guard and that they have joined the people’s revolt,” said Mr al-Obaidi.

The doctor also confirmed the hospital had received the bodies of at least 50 people killed in clashes on Sunday afternoon.

Most had died of bullet wounds and another 100 others were admitted with serious injuries.

The news of further deaths comes as Libya’s representative to the Arab League tendered his resignation in protest to “oppression against protesters”.

There are also reports of clashes in central Tripoli between thousands of protesters and Gaddafi supporters.

The coffins of protesters are carried through the streets

Coffins of protesters are carried through the streets. Photo: Flickr a7fadhomar

At least 200 people have been killed in four days of anti-government protests, the most serious against Colonel Gaddafi since he came to power 41 years ago.

However, it has been a confusing picture in Libya as foreign journalists are banned from the country.

Furthermore, telecommunications have been interrupted and the internet cut off.

The FCO has advised against all but non-essential travel to Libya and is helping British nationals to leave the country.

The United States has said it is “gravely concerned” by “credible reports” that hundreds of people had been injured or killed in a government crackdown, including reports that troops have fired machine guns at crowds.

Three coffins belonging to protesters killed in the Libya violence

The protesters’ coffins are lined up in Benghazi. Photo: Flickr a7fadhomar

There was also widespread speculation within Libya that the regime had hired African mercenaries to suppress any anti-government action.

One doctor in Benghazi was quoted as saying his hospital has counted at least 200 dead since the unrest began.

Separately, a hospital worker in the city named Abdullah told Sky News: “(On Saturday) we had a heavy attack – gunshots by the army forces, especially at night.

“People were protesting… the forces just attacked to make them leave.”

A video posted on the internet on Saturday night apparently shows protesters in Benghazi being fired on – but it is unclear whether those shooting are Libyan troops.

Colonel Gaddafi

Colonel Gaddafi came to power in Libya after a 1969 coup

A resident of the city, Mary, also told Sky News there had been a fierce confrontation between protesters and the military on Saturday evening.

“There was artillery fire back at young boys who were protesting infront of a big military compound where Colonel Gaddafi usually lives when he’s here,” she said.

“The boys are trying to take this from the army but I don’t think they’ll have any chance because of the heavy artillery they’re using against them.”

It followed reports that said snipers opened fire on a crowd of mourners during the day who had gathered to bury those killed in earlier protests.

Resident Mary said there was another demonstration infront of Benghazi’s courthouse on Sunday.

“There was 50 bodies taken for burial from the courthouse and I heard they were travelling to the funeral procession and there was very heavy gunfire,” she said.

“I don’t know if they were firing at them (the mourners), but it seemed like it.”

Protesters gather outside the Libyan Embassy in London

Protesters gathered outside the Libyan embassy in London

Separate reports backed her comments, indicating Libyan forces had again opened fire on mourners on Sunday.

Britian’s Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned the violence unleashed by Colonel Gaddafi.

He told Sky’s Murnaghan programme: “It is such a closed society to the international media, nevertheless the world is watching.

The coffins of protesters are carried through the streets
Three coffins belonging to protesters killed in the Libya violence
Colonel Gaddafi

See more at www.uruknet.info

 
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