Benghazi/Cairo/ Sana: Even as more deaths are reported
in clashes between government supporters and pro-democracy
protesters in Yemen, several dozen more people were killed in
Libya Saturday during the fourth day of protests against the
regime of leader Muammer Gaddafi.
The numbers of dead -- which range from 15 to 25 to 200 --
appeared to be in addition to the 84 people confirmed dead by
Friday by New York-based Human Rights Watch, which said its figure
was based on phone interviews with hospital staff and witnesses.
Most of the victims died of gun wounds, HRW said.
Protests centered on the northeastern city of Benghazi, Libya's
second largest city after the capital Tripoli. The northern
coastal city of Misurata was also the scene of demonstrations, the
National Conference of the Libyan Opposition (NCLO) said.
Emboldened by successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt,
thousands of Libyans have been calling for the ouster of Gaddafi,
who has been in power for 41 years.
Journalists have been barred from travelling to the heart of the
protests in the northeastern Libyan town of Benghazi, and the
Libyan government has reportedly cut off telephone sim cards and
An eyewitness in an unnamed town in Libya told CNN early Sunday
via the internet Skype system that a friend called him from a
hospital and said the facility had received 200 dead bodies
Earlier, a woman reached Al Jazeera with a report that military
officers were shooting from the trees at demonstrators in Benghazi
and that 25 people were killed, the bodies lying in front of her
The caller to CNN confirmed Al Jazeera reports that attackers
drove by in cars and opened fire on demonstrators. He said his
personal sim communication cards had been shut down, but someone
had given him a "random card" in order to talk to CNN.
He said a personal friend had been killed.
"We are awaiting a massacre," the woman told Al Jazeera. "But we
are staying. First we wanted rights. Now we want removal of the
regime. We cannot go back anymore."
An eyewitness in Benghazi, where the protests began Wednesday,
told DPA that soldiers shot live rounds of munitions and large
calibre tank weapons at the demonstrators and into residential
The soldiers were not Libyans but rather mercenaries from Mali,
the eyewitness said.
Residents of Benghazi posted videos on the internet showing Libyan
protesters defacing the bodies of men in uniform. The protesters
said they had stormed buildings housing police and security units
in several towns and cities to seize weapons.
Gaddafi, who has held power since 1969, has built a personality
cult, protected by a special unit of his army led by his son
Chamie. Politicalk parties are banned in Libya.
Outside Libya, supporters of the rebellion held their own
protests. About 200 people demonstrated at the White House in
Washington Saturday, challenging US President Barack Obama to help
end recent violence in Libya, CNN reported.
In Geneva, protesters gathered outside the European headquarters
of the UN, destroying photos of Gaddafi.
Libya, a major oil producer, has a population of about six million
Deaths in Yemen
At least six people were killed in
clashes between government supporters and pro-democracy protesters
who are demanding the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah
Saleh, a media report said.
Four people died during protests in the southern port city of Aden
Saturday, and a student was killed in the city of Taiz, Iran's
Press TV reported Sunday.
Another student demonstrator was killed near the Sanaa University
campus in the capital Saturday. The 16-year-old was shot dead when
government supporters armed with guns, batons and rocks were
trying to break into the campus.
Yemeni security forces reportedly did not intervene.
Saturday was the ninth consecutive day that demonstrators had
called for the ouster of Saleh.
Yemenis, angered by corruption and unemployment in the country and
inspired by the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, are demanding
that Saleh step down after 32 years of autocratic rule.
Last week, Saleh said that he would not run in the 2013
On Friday, at least three pro-democracy protesters were killed and
dozens of others injured during clashes with security forces in
Aden's Khor Maqsar district, witnesses said.
A hand grenade was hurled into a crowd of demonstrators in the
city of Taiz, killing two people and leaving at least 25 injured,
the report said.
Friday's violence came a day after Yemeni riot police opened fire
to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in Aden. The
police action left four dead.
In Sanaa, 40 people were injured after Saleh loyalists armed with
guns attacked a crowd of protesters Thursday.