Saturday, April 13, 2024

UN: Libyan crackdown escalating

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Benghazi, Libya – Libya’s bloody crackdown on protesters is “escalating alarmingly” and “thousands may have been killed or injured,” the world’s top human rights official said today, as strongman Moammar Gadhafi vied to retain power from his stronghold in the capital of Tripoli.
“Although reports are still patchy and hard to verify, one thing is painfully clear: in [a] brazen and continuing breach of international law, the crackdown in Libya of peaceful demonstrations is escalating alarmingly with reported mass killings, arbitrary arrests, detention and torture of protesters,” said Navi Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights.
Global leaders planned to discuss the Libyan crisis in emergency sessions today as all eyes fell on Tripoli, where Gadhafi, defiant as ever, fiercely fought to preserve his hold.
Several witnesses reported intense clashes in various parts of the city between security forces and protesters after todays’ afternoon prayers.
Several people were injured amid reports of sniper and artillery fire in Tripoli, said Mohammed Ali Abdallah of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, which opposes Gadhafi’s regime. He based his account on reports that he said he received from witnesses in the city.
Another witness told CNN that protesters in western Tripoli were met by plainclothes security forces who fired guns at them and later tear gas to disperse the crowds.
Prior to the clashes this morning, security forces had removed barricades, disposed of bodies and painted over graffiti in Tripoli, witnesses said.
“We’re all in our houses like we’re sitting in jail,” a Tripoli resident said Thursday. “We can’t go outside or we get shot. We hear the bullets.”
Gadhafi’s son said his father has no intention of stepping down.
Asked if Gadhafi has a “Plan B” to leave Libya, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi told CNN Turk: “We have Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. Plan A is to live and die in Libya. Plan B is to live and die in Libya. Plan C is to live and die in Libya.”
He said he hoped Libya would come out of the crisis united. (CNN)

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