Death toll in Libyan protests reaches 24, rights group says
Issued on: Modified:
Security forces have killed at least 24 people in a violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations in Libya, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.
The New York-based rights group, citing witnesses, said 24 protesters were killed and scores injured during assaults on Thursday’s Day of Anger protests in two Libyan cities.
A local medical official in Benghazi meanwhile reported that seven protesters were killed during protests in the country’s second city. Geneva-based Human Rights Solidarity, citing witnesses, said snipers in the city of Al-Baida east of Benghazi had shot 13 protesters dead.
The regime of veteran leader Moamer Kadhafi sought to crush the swelling opposition movement and organised its own pro-government rallies in the capital Tripoli and other cities.
But the unrest has been deepening as protesters use social networks and mobile phone messages to emulate pro-democracy movements across north Africa and call for marches.
Thursday’s protests were timed to mark the anniversary of a 2006 protest in which at least 12 protesters were killed, and came two days after clashes between protesters and security forces in Benghazi.
Daily news briefReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe