protesters shout slogans against libya\s leader
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Tensions escalate in Libya

Protesters shout slogans against Libya's leader

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Arab Today, arab today Protesters shout slogans against Libya's leader

Gaddafi's son Saif Al Islam Gaddafi
Tripoli-Arabstoday

Gaddafi's son Saif Al Islam Gaddafi Anti-government protests have broken out in the Libyan town of Ras Lanuf, the site of an oil refinery and petrochemical complex, Libya's Quryna newspaper reported on its website on Monday .
The newspaper, citing employees at the facility, said special committees of workers and local residents were being set up to try to protect it from damage.
Arab League wants end to Libya violence
The head of the Arab League called for an end to the violence in Libya on Monday, saying the demands of Arab people for change are legitimate.
Arab League Secretary General Amr Mousa said the turmoil in Libya, where violent unrest has spread to the capital Tripoli, must end, Egyptian state news agency Mena reported.
“The demands of the Arab peoples for reform, development and change are legitimate and...the feelings of all the [Arab] nations are joined in this decisive moment in history,” Mena cited Mousa as saying.
Britain summons Libya envoy
Britain’s government summoned on Monday the Libyan ambassador to London and called for those behind a deadly crackdown on protesters to be held to account, Foreign Secretary William Hague said.
Hague said he had already "called Saif Al Islam, Muammar Gaddafi's son, yesterday to express our strong disapproval" of actions that NGOs say have caused hundreds of killings in the demonstrators' eastern stronghold of Benghazi.
More death, destruction
Al Jazeera reports that medical sources say 61 people were killed in Tripoli on Monday alone.
Protesters in the Libyan capital Tripoli ransacked the headquarters of state television and set offices of the People's Comittees that are the mainstay of the government ablaze, witnesses say.
"The headquarters of Al Jamahiriya Two television and Al Shababia radio have been sacked," one witness told reporters. A number of witnesses said protesters had torched public buildings in the capital overnight, not only People's Committee offices but also police stations. Broadcasts on both channels were interrupted but resumed later.
Libyan youth movement speaks
Ahmad Sawalem from the Libyan Youth Movement says the protests are not organised by specific groups or personalities, but have spread to Tripoli because people "took heart" after hearing about the crackdown by security forces on protesters in Benghazi.
Security forces had order to aim for upper bodies when shooting demonstrators, he says. "Most of the reports from eyewitnesses and relatives in hospital confirm that this is what happened," he told the BBC.
Media reports from Libya
Mass protesters are being planned for later. An eye witness who didn’t identify his name for security reasons, told CNN by phone: "We are seeing buildings on fire, and one of the building is Al Mahary Hotel". " We can hear intense firing".
A protester told the BBC that people are fearful about coming out on the streets after the overnight violence. "We tried to shout for people to come out...And people are scared...I don't blame them... People are scared to come out at the moment because they not are sure."
Reports are coming in that strikes have spread to some of Libya's oil fields. A strike has stopped output at the Nafoora oilfield, Al Jazeera reports.
Trahuna and Rafla, two of the largest tribes in Libya, have joined hands in the demonstrations against Gaddafi. The two tribes have a population of two million.
Colonel Ahmad Osman, an officer in the Libyan Security forces told Al Jazeera: "Most police officers and armed forces have joined the masses in the capital". Protesters have cities of Nafousah mountain under full control. Hundreds of people attacked a construction site owned by a southern company in Tripoli, and four were injured.
EU foreign ministers say they will prepare for the evacuation of Europeans from Libya, while sharply condemning the government's crackdown against pro-democracy protesters. Several ministers also expressed concerns about a possible massive increase in the flow of illegal migrants from North Africa in the wake of the unrest.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini called for a "Marshall Plan" for affected Mediterranean countries to stimulate their economies and provide job opportunities for young people. Late Sunday, EU ministers denounced the repression against peaceful demonstrators and urged authorities in Tripoli to exercise restraint.
Statoil was pulling some of its employees from Libya and BP was preparing to do so, the oil companies said Monday, as Portugal sent plane to pick up its citizens and other EU nationals and Turkey sent two ferries to pick up construction workers stranded in the unrest-hit country.
Libya’s Azaweya tribe is threatening to disrupt the flow of oil to Europe if European countries did not come forward in support of Libyan people demonstrating against Muammar Gaddafi, the Libya Today website reported. Oil prices jumped above $87 a barrel Monday in Asia amid investor concern that the violent protests in Libya could disrupt crude supplies from the Opec nation. Oil traders are also closely watching recent protests in Iran, which is the second-largest crude exporter in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries behind Saudi Arabia.
Gaddafi's son Saif Al Islam Gaddafi appeared on national television in an attempt both to warn and calm people, saying the army would enforce security at any price.
"Our spirits are high and the leader Muammar Gaddafi is leading the battle in Tripoli, and we are behind him as is the Libyan army," he said.
"We will keep fighting until the last man standing, even to the last woman standing...We will not leave Libya to the Italians or the Turks."
Wagging a finger at the camera, he blamed Libyan exiles for fomenting the violence. But he also promised dialogue on reforms and wage rises.
 The cajoling may not be enough to douse the anger unleashed after four decades of rule by Gaddafi - mirroring events in Egypt where a popular revolt overthrew the seemingly impregnable President Hosni Mubarak 10 days ago.
"People here in Benghazi are laughing at what he is saying, it is the same old story (on promised reform) and nobody believes what he says," a lawyer in Benghazi told the BBC after watching the speech.
"He is liar, liar, 42 years we have heard these lies."
US condemns the use of force in Libya
The United States has strongly condemned the use of force in Libya and called on Tripoli to allow peaceful protests after "credible reports" of hundreds of casualties in a government crackdown.
"The United States is gravely concerned with disturbing reports and images coming out of Libya," said a written statement from State Department spokesman Philip Crowley made public Sunday.
Libya's Ambassador to India, Ali Al Essawi, has resigned in protest of his government's violent crackdown on demonstrators, calling for the ouster of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and he has also accused the government of deploying foreign mercenaries against the protesters according to BBC arabic.
Other news agencies have also reported that Libya's ambassador to China, Hussain Sadiq al Musrati, has reportedly resigned in protest of the violence.
In the coastal city of Benghazi, protesters appeared to be largely in control after forcing troops and police to retreat to a compound. Government buildings were set ablaze and ransacked.
"Security now it is by the people" the lawyer said.
Libyan envoy to Arab League ‘joins revolution’
Libya’s permanent representative to the Arab League, Abdul Moneim Al Honi, said on Sunday he has quit his position in order to "join the revolution" unfolding in his country.
"I have submitted my resignation in protest against the acts of repression and violence against demonstrators [in Libya] and I am joining the ranks of the revolution," Al Honi said.
Members of a Libyan army unit told Benghazi residents on Sunday they had defected and “liberated” Libya’s second city from troops supporting veteran leader Muammar Gaddafi, two residents said.
Habib Al Obaidi, who heads the intensive care unit at the main Al Jalae hospital, and lawyer Mohammad Al Mana, told Reuters members of the "Thunderbolt" squad had arrived at the hospital with soldiers wounded in clashes with Gaddafi's personal guard.
"They are now saying that they have overpowered the Praetorian Guard and that they have joined the people's revolt," Al Mana said by telephone.
Thousands protest
In the first sign of serious unrest in the capital, thousands of protesters clashed with Gaddafi supporters. Gunfire rang out in the night and police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators, some of whom threw stones at Gaddafi billboards.
At least 300 people have been killed in five days of violence. Most were in Benghazi, cradle of the uprising and a region where Gaddafi's grip has always been weaker than elsewhere in the oil-rich desert nation.
Habib Al Obaidi, a surgeon at the Al Jalae hospital, said the bodies of 50 people, most of them shot, were brought there on Sunday afternoon. Two hundred wounded had arrived, he said.
If Gaddafi had hoped to dismiss Benghazi as a provincial problem, he faced an alarming development on Sunday night as crowds took to the streets of Tripoli.
One resident told Reuters he could hear gunshots and crowds of people.
"We're inside the house and the lights are out. That's what I hear, gunshots and people. I can't go outside," he said.
An expatriate worker said anti-government demonstrators were gathering in residential complexes.
"The police are dispersing them. I can also see burning cars," he said.
With inputs from agencies
 

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