Saturday, February 19, 2011

84 Dead In Libya Protests In 3 Days: Human Rights Watch

First Posted: 02/18/11 10:31 PM Updated: 02/18/11 11:09 PM
huffingtonpost.com

Disturbing new details are coming out of the Libya protests. Government security forces have killed at least 84 people in three days, Human Rights Watch said in a news release Friday night.

Even though people were protesting peacefully, according to HRW, security forces killed 20 people in Benghazi, 23 in Baida, three in Ajdabiya, and three in Derna in a matter of days. In addition, 35 people were killed in Benghazi on Friday, nearly all with live ammunition.

HRW said that telephone interviews with hospital staffers and witnesses led to the estimates. It added in a statement: "The Libyan authorities should immediately end attacks on peaceful protesters and protect them from assault by pro-government armed groups."

The regime of Muammar Gaddafi is said to be behind the massacres, according to The Guardian, which reported that it also imposed a news blackout, similar to Iran's crackdown on journalists in 2009.

The last few days have represented an unprecedented challenge to the 41-year rule of Gaddafi, the New York Times reported, in part inspired by the Egypt revolution.

Libya is a relatively small nation in North Africa of approximately 6 million people.

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