Protesters killed during Libya's day of anger

A number of demonstrators are reported to have been killed during an Egypt-style “Day of Anger” in Libya. France on Thursday condemned the “excessive” use of force in Arab nations hit by anti-government protests.


Estimates of the death toll in Libya vary from two to 16 as cyberactivists who launched the protests send out messages on the latest violence.

Two people were killed in the city of Al-Baida, according to the Quryna newspaper, which is close to leader Momaer Kadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam.

The provincial head of security, Colonel Hassan Kardhoui, has been fired, says the paper, which reports shopkeepers clashed with police after the authorities closed businesses.

Opposition websites put the death toll in Al-Baida at between four and 13, with more killed on Thursday.

Reports indicate that violent clashes have hit Zenten on Thursday. A police station and an
office of the local revolutionary committee were set on fire.

The “Day of Anger”, timed to mark the anniversary of a 2006 demonstration in which at least 12 protesters were killed, came two days after clashes between protesters and security forces in Benghazi.

In Benghazi Thursday lawyers demonstrated in front of the court house demanding a constitution.

Kadhafi supporters also mobilised Thursday with demonstrations of support for the regime.

French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie "is particularly concerned by the latest developments in several north African and Middle Eastern countries, notably Bahrain, Libya and Yemen," a ministry official said Thursday.

Alliot-Marie, who is under fire for alleged links to the deposed Ben Ali regime in Tunisia, condemned “the excessive use of force which led to several deaths and numerous injuries” and declared that France supports “freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate peacefully everywhere in the world”.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called for "bold reforms, not repression" in the protest-hit countries.

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